Seven critical mineral blocks see less than three bids in first round

Seven critical mineral blocks, including lithium, that were put up for auction in first round, have received less than three bids. And India’s Mines Ministry on Thursday launched the third tranche of e-auction covering these blocks.

These blocks have received less than three bids in first round of e-auctions., a Ministry official said.

These blocks pertain to critical minerals such as glauconite, graphite, nickle, PGE (platinum group of elements), potash, lithium, and titanium.  They are spread across the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. 

These seven mineral blocks are auctioned under second attempt of auction as per sub-rule 10 and sub-rule 11(b) of rule 9 of Mineral (Auction) Rules 2015, the Ministry said in a statement.

The notice inviting tender has been published on MSTC e-auction portal and on the Ministry of Mines website. 

These would be composite licenses. 

The Central government has launched auction of a total of 38 critical and strategic minerals till date, the Ministry said in a statement. 

The first tranche – in November- and second tranche  – in February – consisting of 20 and 18 blocks respectively were launched by Union Minister of Mines, Pralhad Joshi.

The date for commencement of sale of tender document for the third tranche is March 20, 2024. The last date for purchase of the tender  document from e- auction platform MSTC is May 9. 

The auction shall be held online through a two stage ascending forward auction process. 

The eligible bidder shall be selected based on the highest percentage of the value of mineral despatched quoted by them.

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