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Vedanta, CIL, Ola among the 50 players bidding for critical mineral blocks

The ministry made the announcement on the day when it launched the second round of auction for the 18 strategic mineral blocks valued at Rs 30 trillion

Vedanta

Nitin Kumar New Delhi

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Vedanta, Coal India, and NLC India, alongside Ola Electric, Jindal Power, and the Dalmia Group, Shree Cement are participating as bidders for 20 blocks in the initial phase of the auction for critical mineral blocks in India.

The Ministry of Mines late on Thursday said that it has received more than 50 bids for the First Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals.

“The Ministry of Mines has received more than 50 bids for the First Tranche of Auction of Critical and Strategic Minerals, indicating the strong interest and confidence in the auction process. This robust response reaffirms the Government of India's commitment to fostering transparency, competition, and sustainable growth in the mining sector,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry made the announcement on the day when it launched the second round of auction for the 18 strategic mineral blocks valued at approximately Rs 30 trillion, a move aimed at bolstering the country’s mineral supply chain.

“Last year, we decided to conduct auctions for critical minerals. In the initial phase, we initiated the auction process for 20 blocks, amounting to approximately Rs 40,000 crore in value. In the latest round, we are putting 18 blocks valued at around Rs 30 trillion up for auction,” Union Minister for Coal and Mines, Prahlad Joshi, said at the inauguration of the auction process.

The First Tranche of auction of 20 critical and strategic mineral blocks was launched by the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Prahlad Joshi on November 29, 2023. These blocks represented a diverse array of critical and strategic minerals essential for various industries. These blocks consisted of minerals like Glauconite, Nickel, PGE, Potash, Graphite, Molybdenum, Phosphorite, Lithium, and REE. These blocks are spread across states of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The bidders represent a wide array of sectors like mining companies, EV manufacturers, cement producers, the energy sector, etc. Notable among them are Vedanta Ltd, Coal India Ltd, NLC India Ltd, Shree Cement, Orient Cements, Ola Electric, Dalmia Group, Rungta Group, and Jindal Power, etc.,” the ministry said.

The tender documents for these blocks were made available for purchase until February 13, 2024. The last date for submission of bids was February 26, 2024, and more than 180 tender documents were purchased by interested bidders.

The technical bids were opened in the presence of the Designated Officer and Bid Opening Committee on February 27, 2024. The online bids were decrypted and opened electronically in the presence of the bidders. Subsequently, sealed envelopes containing offline bid documents were also opened in the presence of bidders.

The Central Government made a significant amendment to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR Act) in August 2023 to include twenty-four minerals in Part D of the First Schedule of the MMDR Act, as Critical and Strategic Minerals. This amendment conferred power to the Central Government to grant mineral concession for minerals specified in Part D of the First Schedule. The revenue generated from these auctions shall accrue to State Governments.

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First Published: Mar 01 2024 | 10:39 PM IST

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