Coal India, NMDC, ONGC Videsh to actively scout for critical mineral assets abroad: Government


New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said that public sector companies, Coal India, NMDC And ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL), will start actively looking for important mineral resources abroad. ONGC Videsh Limited (OVL) Migrant The investment arm of the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.
These PSUs already have some kind of presence abroad.
“A group of secretaries on resources has decided that these companies (Coal India, NMDC, ONGC Videsh Ltd) should go ahead and also look at critical mineral assets abroad. This is an easier way. These companies already have assets abroad. Doing business.” Mines Secretary VL Kantha Rao told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop on offshore mining.
State-owned Coal India is actively working on some lithium blocks in Chile, he said.
“So, Coal India is being active… NMDC is already active in Australia. They have some gold mines in Australia and they are also looking at lithium mines in Australia,” Rao said.
Meanwhile, Khanij Videsh India Limited (KABIL) is a joint venture of three PSUs formed to explore mineral properties abroad. It is owned by three public sector undertakings – National Aluminum Company Limited (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Limited (MECL).
India wants to tie up with Chile to get access to copper and lithium mineral assets in the country, he said.
“We are looking at expanding the existing FTA with Chile to include a chapter on critical minerals so that we can get G2G (government to government) access to those assets,” Rao said.
India has been looking towards Australia for lithium blocks for a long time. This year, the secretary said, “Our aim is to do something in Australia.”
He also said India was looking at some coal and copper properties in Mongolia and the government was studying trade routes with the landlocked country.
The Secretary informed that India is also doing joint exploration with Zambia for important minerals including Lithium.
Critical minerals such as copper, lithium, nickel and cobalt are key components in rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and power networks to electric vehicles.

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