K’taka, Rajasthan begin exploration licenses’ auction for critical minerals

Karnataka and Rajasthan have launched an auction of exploration licenses for critical and deep-seated minerals, according to an official statement on Thursday.
Karnataka launched the auction of one block each of gold, copper and lithium while Rajasthan launched the auction of three blocks of rare earth elements, rare metal and potash minerals, it said.
According to the Ministry of Mines, the two states launched the auction of exploration licenses on March 6. Exploration licence blocks are being auctioned for the first time in the country, it said.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, was amended through the MMDR Amendment Act, 2023, with effect from 17.08.2023, inter alia, to introduce new mineral concession of exploration licence for 29 critical and deep-seated minerals to further boost exploration and mining of critical and deep-seated minerals in the country.
Critical and deep-seated minerals such as cobalt, lithium, nickel, gold, silver, and copper are