CRITICAL MINERALS (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 - Geography)

News-CRUX-10     17th August 2023        

Context: Miners discovering critical and deep-seated minerals may be allowed a revenue share from the block over the entire 50-year lease period.

  • Miners may also be given the right to carve out as many mineral blocks from the prospected areas that would be auctioned for mining lease later, ensuring recurring returns for the standalone mining entity over the life of different mines with varied mineral deposits. 
  • These would be part of the rules for the auction exploration licence (EL) that would be given for the first time after Parliament’s monsoon session cleared amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

Critical Minerals

  • Critical minerals are a group of minerals that are essential for various industrial sectors and have strategic importance for a country’s economy and security. 
  • These minerals are characterized by their scarcity, high economic value, and criticality in the production of advanced technologies and defence systems.
  • Critical Minerals List prioritizes minerals essential for industrial sectors like high-tech electronics, telecommunications, transport, and defence.
  • India just joined Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) as the newest partner, which aims to strengthen critical mineral supply chains.
  • The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is currently focused on exploring critical and deep-seated minerals to boost the growth of the mining sector.
  • A Joint Venture Company among NALCO, HCL and MECL named Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL) has been formed in August 2019 to ensure the supply of Critical Minerals.