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Coal India, NMDC, ONGC Videsh Seek Overseas Critical Mineral Assets

The Indian government has announced plans for public sector companies like Coal India, NMDC, and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) to actively seek critical mineral assets overseas. This strategic move aims to secure vital mineral resources essential for various industries, including clean energy technologies and electric vehicles.

Introduction of Overseas Ventures

Coal India, NMDC, and ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) are set to explore critical mineral assets abroad under the guidance of a group of secretaries. These public sector undertakings (PSUs) are already established players in the international market and are well-positioned to expand their presence in search of essential mineral resources.

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) Leads the Charge

ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas investment arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), will play a significant role in the overseas venture. As a seasoned player in the global energy market, OVL brings valuable expertise and experience to the table, ensuring effective exploration and acquisition of critical mineral assets.

Active Pursuit of Mineral Assets

Coal India has initiated active pursuit of lithium blocks in Chile, signaling its proactive approach towards securing critical minerals. Similarly, NMDC is already engaged in mining operations in Australia, focusing on gold mines and exploring opportunities in lithium mining. These efforts highlight the commitment of Indian PSUs to diversify their mineral portfolios and mitigate supply risks.

Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) Joint Venture

Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL), a joint venture of three PSUs – National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL), and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd (MECL), is dedicated to scouting for mineral assets overseas. This collaborative effort strengthens India’s position in the global mineral market and enhances its resource security.

Strategic Partnerships and Trade Agreements

India is actively exploring partnerships with countries like Chile and Australia to secure access to copper, lithium, and other critical mineral assets. Efforts are underway to expand existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to include provisions for critical minerals, facilitating government-to-government access to these resources. Additionally, India is exploring joint exploration ventures with countries like Zambia to tap into critical mineral reserves.

Importance of Critical Minerals

Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel, and cobalt are integral to various clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, electric vehicles, and electricity networks. As the demand for these minerals continues to rise, securing a stable supply becomes paramount for driving sustainable growth and achieving energy transition goals.

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