Centre Starts Auction Process of 20 Critical Mineral Blocks, 1 Each With Lithium in J&K, Chhattisgarh
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New Delhi: The government has identified 30 critical minerals and kick-started the process of auction of 20 mines in eight states on November 29, including those containing lithium in Chhattisgarh and UT of J&K.
“The Government of India has launched first tranche of auction of these minerals on 29th November, 2023 for 20 blocks of critical and strategic minerals,” Pralhad Joshi, the Minister for Mines, Coal and Parliamentary Affairs informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply on Wednesday.
The eight states are Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
The three mine blocks with critical minerals in Bihar that are up for auction for composite licenses are Chutia-Nauhatta Glauconite Block with potash, Pipradih-Bhurwa Glauconite Block with potash and Genjana Ni, Cr & PGE Block with nickel, platinum group elements and chromium.
Composite licenses will also be given for the Kundol Nickel and Chromium Block in Gujarat and the Muskaniya-Gareriatola-Barwari Potash Block in Jharkhand.
For mining lithium, a much sought after critical mineral, composite licences will be given for Salal-Haimna Lithium, Titanium and Bauxite (Aluminous Laterite) Block in J&K and Katghora Lithium and REE (rare earth elements) Block C in Chhattisgarh, Patel informed the House.
The four blocks in Odisha up for auction are Dudhiasol East Nickel and Copper Block, Babja Graphite and Manganese Block, Biarapalli Graphite and Manganese Block (all three for mineral licences) and Akharkata Graphite Block (composite licence).
In Tamil Nadu, seven blocks have been notified for auction -- Vellakal Central (Segment-A) Molybdenum Block, Nochchipatti Molybednum Block, Velampatti North A & B Molybdenum Block, Kurunjakulam Graphite Block, Iluppakudi Graphite Block, Mannadipatti Central Molybdenum Block, and Marudipatti (Central) Molybdenum Block.
Two blocks in Uttar Pradesh are Pahadi Kalan - Gora Kalan Phosphorite Block and Kurchha Glauconite Block.
“The revenue from auction of these blocks will accrue to the concerned State Governments,” the Minister said.
Recall that the Central government amended the MMDR Act, 1957 through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2023, whereby 24 critical and strategic minerals were inserted in Part D to the Schedule-I of the MMDR Act, 1957. These have been identified as critical and strategic minerals for the country. “Further, the amended Act has also empowered Central Government to auction blocks of these minerals,” the Minister stated.
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