What is the significance of the Critical Minerals List released by the Government of India?
The Critical Minerals List is a comprehensive compilation of 30 minerals that are essential for various industrial sectors such as defence, agriculture, energy, pharmaceuticals, and telecom. The list helps prioritize the exploration and mining of these critical minerals to ensure self-reliance and security in the domain of mineral resources.
Does India have these critical minerals?
With a few exceptions such as copper, gallium , graphite, cadmium, phosphorus, potash, and titanium, India is 100 percent import dependent for most of these minerals. Only about 10-20 percent of India’s real potential vis-a-vis critical minerals has been explored. Geological Survey of India discovered a 5.9-million-tonne reserve of lithium in Jammu & Kashmir’s Reasi district in 2023 and later in Rajasthan.
What is the government's role in exploring and mining critical minerals?
The government regulates the exploration and mining of critical minerals. The amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act of 1957 in July 2023 allows private players to mine lithium and other five critical minerals. Currently, commercial mining of these critical minerals by private companies is prohibited. Only Government agencies were allowed in exploration and mining operations. These six minerals have been removed from the country’s atomic minerals list. The government also conducts periodic reviews of the critical mineral list to ensure its relevance and alignment with international commitments. The amendment allows an exploration licence which will be granted through auction for undertaking reconnaissance and prospecting operations. Companies will be allowed to suggest areas they want to explore, and eventually mine
Q: What are the benefits of allowing private players to mine critical minerals?
A: Allowing private players to mine critical minerals, including lithium, titanium, beryllium, zirconium, niobium, and tantalum, brings several advantages.
It attracts more capital and encourages the use of new and emerging technologies in exploration and mining processes. (Isse Public-Private Partnerships increase hoti hai jisse overall mining sector growth hoti hai) This boosts public-private partnerships and promotes the growth of the mining sector.
Additionally, it reduces India's dependence on imports for these minerals and supports the country's goals of becoming a global manufacturing hub for batteries and renewable energy technologies.
Why are critical minerals in high demand?
Critical minerals, such as lithium, are in high demand globally due to their strategic use in the production of batteries for electric vehicles. (Jaise jaise countries green energy aur e-mobility ki taraf ja rahe hain, in minerals ki demand kafi badh gayi hai) As countries shift towards green transition and e-mobility, the demand for these minerals has increased significantly.
What about reducing carbon emissions?
The List recognizes the importance of minerals in the transition to a greener and more sustainable economy by focusing on critical minerals needed for renewable energy technologies, such as lithium for batteries. It contributes to India's net-zero targets and environmental sustainability.
What is the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP)?
The Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) is an alliance of 14 developed countries, led by the United States, that aims to secure critical mineral supply chains. It was established in June 2022 to address the growing importance of critical minerals in various industries and ensure their availability and sustainability.
Q: Why is India's inclusion in the MSP significant?
A: India's inclusion in the Minerals Security Partnership is significant because it is the only developing country to become a part of this elite club. (India ka MSP join humara badhta hua global stature ko reflect karta hai). It reflects India's growing stature in the global mineral sector.
Joining the MSP provides India with an opportunity to collaborate with developed countries and gain access to expertise, technologies, and resources for the sustainable development of its mineral resources.
Q: What are the benefits of India joining the MSP?
A: By joining the Minerals Security Partnership, India gains several benefits. It can enhance its capacity to secure critical mineral supply chains. India can also benefit from knowledge sharing and technical cooperation with other member countries. Additionally, being part of the MSP elevates India's international standing in the mineral sector and opens avenues for more strategic partnerships and investments.