Coal and Mining Sector

[pib] Critical Minerals Summit


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Critical Minerals, Mineral Security Partnership (MSP)

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

The Ministry of Mines has organized a pivotal summit in New Delhi aimed at fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and driving innovation in Critical Mineral beneficiation and processing.

What are Critical Minerals?

  • Critical Minerals are indispensable for economic development and national security, with their scarcity or concentration in specific regions posing potential supply chain vulnerabilities.
  • The declaration and identification of Critical Minerals is an ongoing process, influenced by technological advancements, market dynamics, and geopolitical factors.

Critical Minerals in India:

  • India has identified 30 Critical Minerals (July 2023) based on factors like disruption potential, import reliance, and cross-sectoral usage.
    • Antimony, Beryllium, Bismuth, Cobalt, Copper, Gallium, Germanium, Graphite, Hafnium, Indium, Lithium, Molybdenum, Niobium, Nickel, PGE, Phosphorous, Potash, Rare Earth Elements, Rhenium, Silicon, Strontium, Tantalum, Tellurium, Tin, Titanium, Tungsten, Vanadium, Zirconium, Selenium and Cadmium.

Critical Minerals

Global Perspective:

Various nations have outlined their lists of Critical Minerals based on unique circumstances:

  • The US recognizes 50 minerals critical for national security and economic development.
  • Japan has identified 31 minerals crucial for its economy.
  • The UK, EU, and Canada have their respective lists, reflecting their strategic priorities.

India became the 14th member of the Mineral Security Partnership (MSP) in June 2023. 

  • MSP seeks to bolster critical minerals supply chains to support economic prosperity and climate objectives.
  • It seeks to ensure that critical minerals are produced, processed and recycled by catalyzing investments from governments and private sector across the full value chain.
  • Members: The other member countries are United States, Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the European Commission.

Note: Copper, gold and silver are not on the list of minerals under MSP (Wiki).

Various Government Initiatives:

  • MMDR Act Amendment (2023):   24 minerals were designated as critical and strategic under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.
  • National Mineral Policy (2019): The updated policy emphasizes the exploration and exploitation of Critical Minerals to harness India’s mineral potential effectively.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL): A joint venture comprising National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL), and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL), KABIL aims to secure a consistent supply of Critical Minerals by acquiring and developing assets overseas.
  • Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL): It is a PSU that plays a significant role in the research and production of rare earth minerals.

India’s Critical Mineral Imports:

  • Lithium Imports: In FY23, India imported 2,145 tonnes of lithium carbonate and lithium oxide, costing Rs 732 crore.
  • Nickel and Copper Imports: The country imported 32,000 tonnes of unwrought nickel and 1.2 million tonnes of copper ore, costing Rs 6,549 crore and Rs 27,374 crore, respectively.
  • Import Dependence: India relies entirely on imports for lithium and nickel, and 93% for copper.

Country-wise dependence:

  1. China: India heavily relies on China for the import of critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite.
  2. Australia: India is actively engaged with Australia for acquiring mineral assets, particularly lithium and cobalt, to secure its supply chain for critical minerals.
  3. Argentina, Bolivia, and Chile: India is engaging with these countries, known for their reserves of battery metals like lithium and cobalt, to diversify its sources for critical minerals.



[2019] With reference to the management of minor minerals in India, consider the following statements:

  1. Sand is a ‘minor mineral’ according to the prevailing law in the country.
  2. State governments have the power to grant mining leases of minor minerals, but the powers regarding the formation of rules related to the grant of minor minerals lie with the Central Government.
  3. State Governments have the power to frame rules to prevent illegal mining of minor minerals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch