Union Mines Ministry Proposes PSUs to Acquire Critical Mineral Assets Abroad

  • 12 Feb 2024

The Union Mines Ministry has recently proposed circulating critical mineral block proposals received by partner countries in the US-led Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) with central public sector undertakings (PSUs) to facilitate their acquisition of critical mineral assets abroad.

Key Points

  • Boosting Overseas Acquisition: The ministry recommended PSUs like Coal India Limited, NLC India Ltd, and NTPC Ltd to acquire lithium, cobalt, and graphite assets overseas.
  • This initiative aims to enhance India's access to critical minerals vital for various industries.
  • MSP Collaboration: India joined the MSP in June 2023, a collaborative effort led by the US to catalyze investment in critical mineral supply chains globally.
  • The partnership seeks to foster cooperation in developing minerals processing facilities and building robust battery materials supply chains.
  • Financial Empowerment: The ministry suggested empowering relevant PSU subsidiaries financially to expedite the execution of viable proposals.
  • Examples include ONGC Videsh Limited and NTPC Mining Limited, subsidiaries tasked with exploring oil reserves overseas and operating coal mining businesses, respectively.
  • Interest from PSUs: PSUs like Coal India Limited expressed interest in securing lithium and cobalt blocks in Australia, along with exploring opportunities in Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina. NTPC is eyeing lithium, cobalt, graphite, and limestone assets abroad.
  • Consultation and Due Diligence: Maintaining communication channels with Indian missions abroad was also advised to ensure the smooth acquisition of overseas projects.