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Auction of 10 offshore mineral blocks likely by mid-2024: Pralhad Joshi

When asked about a timeframe for the auction of offshore minerals, he said the auctions are likely to kick off by June-July of 2024.
Last Updated 03 March 2024, 10:29 IST

New Delhi: The first tranche of offshore minerals auctions is likely to kick off by June-July this year, Union Minister Pralhad Joshi said.

A total of 10 offshore mineral blocks have been short-listed by the mines ministry, and inter-ministerial consultations are underway to seek necessary clearances for auctions at the earliest, the Minister for Coal and Mines told PTI.

When asked about a timeframe for the auction of offshore minerals, he said the auctions are likely to kick off by June-July of 2024.

The blocks are located on the east and west coast of India, Joshi said without sharing any further information.

"Our plan is to launch more tranches of auction of offshore minerals after concluding the first one," the minister added.

The government amended the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002, to provide an auction route for awarding production leases for offshore minerals.

Offshore minerals are located deep within the earth's crust and are difficult to extract compared to onshore minerals.

India's offshore mineral reserves include gold, diamond, copper, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, and rare earth elements.

The offshore auctions will help increase the availability of these minerals in India and reduce dependence on imports.

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(Published 03 March 2024, 10:29 IST)

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