There is growing concern in the Government of India over India not finding a place in the Minerals Security Partnership.
India is concerned that it is not finding a place in the Minerals Security Partnership.
The Finance Ministry is learnt to have communicated with the Ministry of External Affairs to explore the possibility of how New Delhi can join the 11-member group.
Experts say the country does not bring much expertise to the table.
In the group, countries like Australia and Canada have reserves and also technology to extract them and countries like Japan have the technology to process.
About the ‘Mineral Security Partnership’ –
It is an ambitious new US-led partnership to secure supply chains of critical minerals, aimed at reducing dependency on China.
There is no global definition of critical minerals, but essentially, they are mineral deposits with high economic vulnerability and high global supply chain risk.
The partnership was announced at the world’s largest mining event, held in Toronto.
MSP partner countries include Canada, Australia, Finland, Germany, France, Japan, Republic of Korea, Sweden, UK, US, and European Commission.
To ensure that critical minerals are produced, processed, and recycled in a manner that supports the ability of countries to realise the full economic development benefit of their geological endowments.
Demand for critical minerals, which are essential for clean energy and other technologies, is projected to expand significantly in the coming decades.
The MSP will help catalyse investment from governments and the private sector for strategic opportunities —across the full value chain.
Rare earth elements and India –
Rare earth elements comprises 17 elements and are classified as light RE elements (LREE) and heavy RE elements (HREE).
Some RE are available in India such as Lanthanum, Cerium, Neodymium, Praseodymium and Samarium.
Others such as Dysprosium, Terbium, Europium that are classified as HREE are not available in Indian deposits in extractable quantity.
Hence, there is a dependence on countries such as China for HREE, which is one of the leading producers of RE with an estimated 70% of the global production.
In mid-2020, India, through a newly floated state-owned company, had signed an agreement with an Argentinian firm to jointly prospect lithium.
The State-owned company, Khanij Bidesh India Ltd, was incorporated in August 2019.
Its mandate is to acquire strategic mineral assets such as lithium and cobalt abroad.