Ministry Launches Third Tranche of Auction for Seven Critical Mineral Blocks

Ministry Launches Third Tranche of Auction for Seven Critical Mineral Blocks


The Ministry of Mines has unveiled the third tranche of e-auction for critical and strategic minerals. The auction will grant concessions for seven critical mineral blocks across five states.

Prospective bidders can purchase tender documents from the MSTC e-auction platform starting March 20, 2024.

The price of the tender document is ₹300,000 (~$3,619.9) plus applicable GST.

The deadline for purchasing the tender document is May 9, 2024, while the submission deadline for bids is May 14, 2024.

The auction marks a step in ensuring the availability of essential minerals vital for various industries across the country.

The Ministry has identified seven mineral blocks for composite licenses (CL) in the third tranche, comprising of minerals such as glauconite, graphite, nickel, platinum group elements (PGE), potash, lithium, and titanium.

These blocks are located in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The decision to include these blocks follows assessment, with these sites receiving fewer than three bids during the first tranche.

The initiative was guided by the Mineral (Auction) Rules 2015, specifically sub-rules 10 and 11(b) of rule 9.

The tender has been issued and published on the MSTC e-auction portal and the Ministry of Mines website, facilitating widespread participation in the bidding process.

The latest tranche builds upon the success of previous auctions. The central government has already conducted auctions for 38 critical and strategic minerals.

Pralhad Joshi, the Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Government of India, launched the first and second tranches, comprising 20 and 18 blocks, respectively, on November 29, 2023, and February 29, 2024.

These auctions have offered a diverse range of critical and strategic minerals crucial for various industrial sectors.

The MSTC auction platform provides comprehensive details about the mines, auction terms, timelines, and other relevant information.

The auction process will be conducted online through a transparent two-stage ascending forward auction mechanism.

The government said its commitment to enhancing the availability of critical minerals remains steadfast, and plans are underway to phase in the auction of more blocks.

This approach is expected to strengthen the nation’s mineral security and contribute to the growth and sustainability of various industries reliant on these essential resources.

Recently, the Ministry of Mines issued the second tranche of the auction to grant concessions for 18 critical and strategic mineral blocks across eight states, with 17 designated for the grant of composite license and one for the mining lease.

The first tranche was earlier launched on November 29, 2023, which saw the auction of 20 critical and strategic mineral blocks, including minerals like glauconite, nickel, platinum group elements (PGE), potash, graphite, molybdenum, phosphorite, lithium, and rare earth elements (REE).