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Union Cabinet Approval for Mining of Critical and Strategic Minerals

Why is it in the news?

  • The Union Cabinet approved royalty rates for the mining of 12 critical and strategic minerals including Beryllium, Cadmium, Cobalt, Tungsten, and Vanadium. It enables the Central Government to auction blocks for these 12 minerals for the first time in India.
  • For specifying royalty, the Cabinet approved the amendment of the Second Schedule (containing royalty rates) to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957 to specify royalty for mining these critical and strategic minerals.
路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Royalty refers to payment made to the owner of certain types of rights (with the government as the mineral rights holder) by those who are permitted to exercise such rights.

Significance of Critical Minerals

  • Critical minerals are essential for the foundation of modern technology, including smartphones, electric vehicles, and semiconductors.
  • They play a crucial role in manufacturing clean energy technologies such as solar panels and advanced batteries.
  • Critical minerals have strategic and geopolitical significance, being used in frontier technologies, defence equipment, and concentrated supply chains.

Concerns Associated with Critical Minerals for India

  • Lack of Commercial Production Capability: Despite significant reserves, India lacks commercial production capability due to high exploration and extraction costs.
  • High Import Dependency: India faces high import dependency on a few countries like DR Congo, Australia, and China for critical minerals.
Initiatives by India for Critical and Strategic Minerals

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India has identified 30 critical minerals crucial for self-reliance.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India joined the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) to bolster critical minerals’ supply chains.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India has partnered with countries like Australia for lithium and cobalt and with Argentina for lithium.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) has been formed to identify, acquire, process, and make commercial use of strategic minerals in overseas locations for supply in India.

 

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