New Delhi, Oct 11: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved amending the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, to fix royalty rates for Lithium, Niobium and rare earth minerals.
The royalty will be 3 per cent each for Lithium and Niobium while for rare earth minerals, it will be 1 per cent.
The move is aimed at encouraging greater private sector participation in commercial mining of rare earth minerals.
Recently huge reserves of Lithium had been discovered in Jammu and Kashmir.
Lithium is used for manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles and government is bullish towards sourcing it from within the country and also abroad.
The approval of royalty rates by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday will enable the Centre to auction blocks for Lithium, Niobium and rare earth minerals for the first time in the country.
Royalty rate on minerals is an important financial consideration for the bidders in auction of blocks.
Further, the manner of calculation of average sale price of these minerals has also been prepared by the mines ministry which will enable determination of bid parameters, official sources said.
In August this year, the Parliament had passed the MMDR (Amendment) Bill 2023, which will facilitate auction of mineral concessions for critical minerals, while states will get the revenue.
The amendments also introduced exploration licence for deep-seated and critical minerals.
It also omitted six minerals from the list of 12 atomic minerals specified in Part-B of the First Schedule of the Act, namely, Lithium bearing minerals, Titanium bearing minerals and ores, Beryl and other beryllium bearing minerals, Niobium and Tantalum bearing minerals and Zirconium-bearing minerals. (IANS)