Government To Identify Mineral Blocks In Sea, Put Them On Sale

The mines ministry is amending the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002. (File)

New Delhi:

The government is in the process of identifying mineral blocks like nickel in the sea and would gradually put them on sale, mines secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said on Friday.

The mines ministry is amending the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 and has sought the stakeholders’ views on the same.

“Because the critical minerals are becoming even more critical, there is this thought that why are we not mining in the oceans…Unfortunately we have not been able to mine the oceans. Now we are amending the Act. It is in public domain, open for comments for the industry, the stakeholders,” the mines secretary said during Metal & Metallurgy Expo-2023 organised by CII.

The ministry, he said, is in the process of identifying these blocks in the sea and as there are no stakes in there, the auction will be done by the government of India.

“That will also be a huge opportunity for industry, a totally new area of operations,” he explained.

Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earth elements are essential components in many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies — from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles.

The mines secretary further said that recycling of metals, including aluminium, is extremely important for India to be self reliant.

The level of recyling in India for aluminium is about 30 per cent whereas globally it is more than 90 per cent. The figures are similar for copper and other metals also.

Bharadwaj urged the industry to also get into organised recycling space.

“The companies which are already in the metal industry, I would ask them to think about having a division for recycling. All over the world it is a major area of operations and I think the Indian industry can easily become the recyling hub of the entire world,” he explained.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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