Auction of Critical & Strategic Minerals Blocks

  • 26 Jun 2024

On June 25th, 2024, Union Minister of Coal and Mines, along with Minister of State for Coal and Mines, launched the 4th tranche of the auction of critical and strategic mineral blocks at a programme in New Delhi.

Key Points

  • The auction included 21 blocks of critical minerals. Out of these, 11 are fresh blocks, spread over six states: Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • These blocks contain a variety of minerals, including graphite, glauconite, phosphate, potash, nickel, phosphate, and rare earth elements (REE).
  • As part of this tranche, 10 critical mineral blocks are on offer as the second attempt blocks of previous tranches of auction. These are located in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu and have important critical minerals like tungsten, vanadium, graphite, glauconite, cobalt, and nickel.

Scheme for Partial Reimbursement of Exploration Expenses of the Exploration Licence Holders

  • Under the scheme, exploration expenditure of up to 50% of cost subject to upper limit of ₹20 Cr. will be reimbursed.
  • The provision of exploration licence was introduced through an amendment in the MMDR Act in 2023.
  • A total of 20 blocks for Exploration Licence were handed over to various States of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh and Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.
  • The State Government of Karnataka and Rajasthan are the first States to notify the auction of Exploration Licence.
  • The scheme of partial reimbursement of exploration expenditure will encourage junior mining companies to participate in auction for exploration licence and will help in building a strong exploration ecosystem in the country.