Why in News?
There is growing concern in the Government over India not finding a place in the Minerals Security Partnership.
- The Minerals Security Partnership is an ambitious new US-led partnership that aims to secure supply chains of critical minerals and reduce dependency on China.
- We expect the demand for critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies, to significantly expand in the coming decades.
About Critical Minerals
- It is a metallic or non-metallic element that has two characteristics.
- It is essential for the functioning of our modern technologies, economies or national security and
- There is a risk that its supply chains could be disrupted.
- The ‘criticality’ of minerals changes with time as supply and society’s needs shift.
- They find application in manufacturing advanced technologies, including mobile phones, computers, fiber-optic cables, semiconductors, banknotes, as well as defense, aerospace, and medical applications.
- Many industries utilize them in low-emission technologies, such as electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and rechargeable batteries.
- Some are also crucial for common products, such as stainless steel and electronics.
- Examples: antimony, beryllium, bismuth, cobalt, copper, gallium, germanium, lithium, vanadium etc.
- Top Producers: Chile, Indonesia, Congo, China, Australia and South Africa.
How are the Critical Minerals Categorised?
Critical minerals have been classified into three categories based on their end-use industries:
- Traditional — titanium, vanadium
- Sunrise — lithium
- Mixed use — cobalt, nickel, graphite, light rare earth elements (LREEs), heavy rare earth elements (HREEs)
However, the eight minerals considered to be of greatest interest include lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite, LREEs, HREEs, titanium, and vanadium.
What has India done regarding Critical Minerals?
In mid-2020, India, through a newly floated state-owned company, had signed an agreement with an Argentinian firm to jointly prospect lithium in the South American country that has the third largest reserves of the metal in the world.
India-Australia Critical Minerals Investment Partnership
- India and Australia decided to strengthen their partnership in the field of projects and supply chains for critical minerals.
- Australia has the resources to help India fulfil its ambitions to lower emissions and meet the growing demand for critical minerals to help India’s space and defence industries, and the manufacture of solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles.
- National Strategy
- Creation of New List
- Special emphasis on Deep Seated Minerals
- Incentivize private explorers
- Clear-cut strategy for processing and assembly of minerals
- Critical minerals Strategy
- Bilateral and Plurilateral Arrangements
- Regular assessment of Critical Minerals
- Time-bound Action Plan
- Reform in Mining and Downstream Sector
- Reducing Import Risks
Read also:- Minerals Security Partnership
Critical Minerals Alliance,Critical Minerals Alliance