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New Delhi [India], November 15 (ANI): The Union Ministry of Mines is in the process of auctioning 20 blocks of critical minerals including lithium and graphite in the next two weeks, said Secretary VL Kantha Rao.

Interacting with the media persons after inaugurating the mining pavilion at the India International Trade Fair 2023 (IITF), on Tuesday, the secretary said that for mining and processing of critical minerals indigenous technology will be explored.

India in June this year identified 30 critical minerals taking into account its requirements for sectors like defence, agriculture, energy, pharmaceutical, and telecom and in line with its Atmanirbar (self-reliance) roadmap.

Those critical minerals were Antimony, Beryllium, Bismuth, Cobalt, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Graphite, Hafnium, Indium, Lithium, Molybdenum, Niobium, Nickel, PGE, Phosphorous, Potash, REE, Rhenium, Silicon, Strontium, Tantalum, Tellurium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Zirconium, Selenium, and Cadmium.

Critical minerals are those minerals that are essential for economic development and national security.

"Minerals are an integral part of our daily life and minerals serve as raw material for many industries but are also crucial and vital to energy transition to a low carbon-emission economy, and renewable energy technologies that will be required to meet the 'Net Zero' commitment as declared by our Prime Minister," Union Minister of Coal, Mines Pralhad Joshi said in his virtual message yesterday.

In recent years, the government has introduced important reforms to open the mining sector for private participation and in particular mineral exploration. Today, there are many accredited private exploration agencies empanelled to step up the pace of exploration in the country. (ANI)

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