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.
  • Goal —
      • 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.