The Ministry of Mines, Government of India, conducted a roadshow at Bhubaneswar, on February 7, 2024, in preparation for the success of the inaugural auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals, launched by Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, on November 29, 2023.
The roadshow featured the presence of Dr Veena Kumari Dermal, Designated officer and Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines and CMD NALCO, Shri Shridhar Patra. The event was attended by senior officers from the Ministry of Mines and State Government, bidders, industry consultants, and exploration agencies.
In this first tranche, a total of 20 critical and strategic mineral blocks are being auctioned, with 16 for the grant of Composite License and 4 for the grant of Mining Lease. The minerals include Graphite, Glauconite, Lithium, REE, Molybdenum, Nickel, Potash, PGE, and Phosphorite. The blocks are spread across Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tamilnadu, Uttar Pradesh and UT of Jammu and Kashmir. Out of these 20 mineral blocks, 4 blocks are situated in Odisha. This roadshow was organized for the regional engagement with the prospective bidders.
The roadshow aimed to guide potential bidders through the auction process. Shri, Sridhar Patra, CMD, NALCO emphasized the pivotal role of Critical and Strategic Minerals in modern tech, economic growth, and national security, shedding light on their diverse industrial applications.
SBI Capital Markets Limited, Transaction Adviser, MECL (Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited), Technical Consultant and MSTC (Metal Scrap Trade Corporation) e-auction platform provider gave presentations covering the auction process details, technical aspects of bid submission and registration process and technical details of the 20 blocks.
In the concluding address, Dr Veena Kumari Dermal, Designated Officer and Joint Secretary, of the Ministry of Mines reemphasized the pivotal role of Critical and Strategic minerals. She also shared insights on the role played by the Ministry of Mines in drafting recent amendments and future steps being planned for the facilitation of the auction of critical and strategic minerals.
Dr Dermal said that the Ministry of Mines has achieved a significant milestone with the signing of an agreement between KABIL and the state-owned enterprise in Argentina for exploration followed by the exploitation of five lithium blocks in the Catamarca Province of Argentina. This was the first-ever agreement for a lithium exploration and mining project by a Government Company in India. Further, she elaborated on the action taken by the Government of India on the international as well as domestic front to ensure a supply chain of critical and strategic minerals for downstream industries.
The last date for the sale of Tender Documents is February 13, 2024, and the last date for bid submission on February 20, 2024. The e-auction bidding will commence thereafter. Detailed information is available on the MSTC auction platform at www.mstcecommerce.com/auctionhome/mlcl/index.jsp.
Disclaimer: This is an official press release by Pib.