Mines Ministry Initiates First Auction of Strategic Minerals

Focus on Sustainable Development Goals and to fulfil Prime Minister’s Vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat

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Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi

The first tranche e-auction of Critical & Strategic Minerals was launched by Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines, Shri Pralhad Joshi here on 29th November, 2023. A total of 20 critical mineral blocks will be auctioned in the first tranche, out of which 16 mineral blocks are put up for grant of Composite Licence and four mineral blocks for grant of Mining Lease. Launching the auction process, the Minister said that lithium is truly a mineral of the future, with its uses ranging from rechargeable batteries to electric vehicles and in the very first auction launch of critical minerals, two lithium blocks have been offered. Once operational, they will help to cut down imports and build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, he added. The Minister said that the aim of the present launch is to ensure sustainable development goals and to fulfil Prime Minister’s Vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and further development of strategic sectors.

The auction was launched in the presence of Shri V.L. Kantha Rao, Secretary Ministry of Mines; Shri Abhay Thakur, Saus Sherpa of India to G20; Mr. Philip Green, High Commissioner of Australia to India; Mr. Hugo Javier Gobbi, Ambassador of the Argentina to India; Mr. Seppo Nurmi, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Delegation, Embassy of EU in India; Mr. Damon DuBord Chief of Energy Affairs, U.S. Embassy; Ms. Carolina Saito, Head of STI, Brazil; Mr. Saibal Ghosh, Trade Commissioner; Embassy of Canada; Arina Cosac, Head of Climate Change Policy, United Kingdom; Mr. Kim Ileung, Minister, Embassy of the Republic of Koria; Ms. Mary Burce Warlick, Deputy Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA); representatives from Asian Development Bank, India Energy Storage Alliance,  Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, etc.; Senior Officials of State Governments; officials from the Ministries of Mines, External Affairs, Power, New and Renewable Energy, Coal, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Steel, Commerce and Industry and Heavy Industry; dignitaries from various government organizations and PSUs, industry stalwarts, potential bidders, and leading media houses.

Details of blocks put up for auction:


Number of Blocks




Bihar and Uttar Pradesh



Odisha and Tamil Nadu

Graphite and Manganese



Lithium and REE



Lithium, REE and Bauxite (Aluminous Laterite)


Jammu & Kashmir



Tamil Nadu

Nickel and Chromium



Nickel and Copper



Nickel, Chromium and PGE





Uttar Pradesh




The commencement of sale of tender documents has started from 29th November, 2023 itself. Pre-bid conference with prospective bidder is scheduled on 22nd December, 2023, last date of sale of Tender Document is 16th January, 2024 and last date of bid submission is 22nd January, 2024. Thereafter, e-auction will commence for selection of preferred bidder. The entire auction process will be completed within 103 days from the date of launch of auction.

Details of the mines, auction terms, timelines etc. can be accessed on MSTC auction platform at www.mstcecommerce.com/auctionhome/mlcl/index.jsp. The auction shall be held online through a transparent 2 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.


SBI Capital Markets Limited and MECL are assisting Ministry of Mines in conducting the auction process as a Transaction Advisor and Technical Advisor, respectively.

The Government is committed to bring more blocks of critical mineral blocks to auction in a phased manner.


Mines Ministry Mineral Auction