Government Announces 25% of Project Cost as Incentive for Critical Mineral Exploration

Critical minerals are integral to renewable and defense industries


In a bid to enhance the exploration of critical minerals within the country, the government of India has announced a 25% incentive on the approved project cost for exploration agencies, Pralhad Joshi, the Union Minister for Mines and Coal, has said.

The decision aims to expedite the discovery and extraction of critical minerals, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, and foster self-sufficiency in these vital resources.

Critical minerals are integral to contemporary industries, encompassing electronics, defense, and renewable energy.

“To boost critical mineral exploration within the country, it has been determined that exploration agencies will receive a 25% incentive of the approved project cost,” the minister said on microblogging site X.

Joshi said the incentive will be channeled through the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET).

NMET was established by the Government of India on August 14, 2015, with the aim of expediting mineral exploration within the country.

The fund supports regional and detailed mineral exploration activities, including studies, surveys, and projects focused on identifying concealed mineral deposits, sustainable mining practices, strategic minerals, upgrading exploration status, and capacity building for personnel involved in mineral exploration.

The minister said both public and private sector exploration agencies are eligible to receive the incentive upon successfully uncovering critical minerals during their projects.

In June, Joshi unveiled India’s first-ever report on “Critical Minerals for India,” identifying a list of 30 critical minerals, comprising lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, cadmium, silicon, indium, and tellurium imperative for the development of renewables such as electric vehicles and solar.

The list was identified considering resource and reserve position, production, import dependency, future technology, clean energy use, and agricultural requirements.

Recently, months after the Geological Survey of India announced the discovery of lithium reserves in Jammu and Kashmir, officials in the Rajasthan government said that they had discovered lithium in the state.

The government is set to auction the 5.9 million tons of lithium reserves found in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district in December this year.