India Considers Single Licence for Critical Mineral Mining to Attract Global Giants

India Considers Single Licence for Critical Mineral Mining to Attract Global Giants

The Indian government is contemplating issuing a unified licence for the exploration and extraction of critical minerals, aiming to simplify the current fragmented licensing process and attract major global mining companies like Rio Tinto, Glencore, Anglo American, and Barrick Gold, Mint newspaper reported today.

Currently, India’s critical mineral auction process involves two distinct steps: first, exploration licences are auctioned with bidders agreeing to share the lowest amount with a future miner. Once a discovery is made, a second bid is called where the miner offering the highest revenue share to the government secures the right to mine. This prolonged process has deterred many large mining corporations.

To address this, the government is considering merging the two licences into a single composite licence, which would streamline the process and make it more appealing to major exploration companies. “Combining the two licences would make sense for big exploration companies and will help India discover and mine more efficiently,” an official told Mint.

Critical minerals are essential for various sectors, including transportation and defense. Notably, India imports all its nickel, which is crucial for stainless steel manufacturing.

Implementing a composite licence would require amending existing mining laws. The proposal is currently under discussion at various levels of the government. Last year, India identified 24 minerals as critical and strategic after amending the Mines and Minerals Act.

“By enhancing competitiveness through a streamlined licensing process, India aims to position itself as an attractive destination for global mining investments,” said Davinder Sandhu, co-founder and chairperson at Primus Partners. icon

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