India in talks with Africa, Latin America countries for critical mineral blocks

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Image by Пресс-служба Президента Российской Федерации, Wikimedia Commons.)

India is in talks with countries in Africa and Latin America to get critical mineral blocks on a government-to-government basis, Veena Kumari Dermal, joint secretary of the Ministry of Mines, said at an industry event on Tuesday.

The official said that India is also in discussions with Australia for critical minerals.

The South Asian country may have to fast-track clearance for domestic critical minerals blocks, she added.

“We are having lots of discussions with many other resource-rich countries both in Africa as well as in Latin America for getting a block on a G2G basis or on a priority basis”, the joint secretary said.

Indian state-owned firm Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL) is in the process of setting up in Argentina to start exploration, the joint secretary said.

In January, KABIL signed a $24 million lithium exploration pact for five blocks in Argentina.

V.L. Kantha Rao, India’s secretary of mines, said at industry event in March that India was exploring opportunities in Africa for minerals such as copper, cobalt, and other critical resources, while also pursuing lithium blocks in Australia.

(By Neha Arora and Ashna Teresa Britto; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Sonia Cheema)


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