According to two people aware of the development, the Indian government is selling its newly discovered lithium and other rare earth minerals.
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The government has initiated a plan to auction newly discovered lithium and other rare earth minerals later this year, with the mines ministry proposing an amendment to mineral concession rules 2016 to determine the methodology for fixing the value of the estimated resources.
The methodology for the calculation of average sale price (ASP) and value of estimated resources (VER) of rare earth elements (REE) and lithium is important for auctioning the new mines as it forms the basis of determining the bid parameters and auction premium, two people aware of the development said, requesting anonymity.“The mines ministry has put draft amendment rules (to determine the methodology for ASP and VER for stakeholder consultation. The amendment would be finalized by July so that states and Union territories auctioning REE and Lithium mines adopt it to determine the reserve price and bid premium,” said one of the two people cited above.
The government is moving quickly to complete the regulatory exercise for the mining of new minerals as it intends to get the mines operational over the next 2-3 years to support the growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry.
The Geological Survey of India has found the presence of significant lithium reserves totalling 5.9 million tonnes in the Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir. This is a big find as this rare earth metal is a key component of EV batteries and is in high demand globally.
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