Khanij Bidesh India Ltd Current Affairs - 2020

KABIL: Govt sets up Khanij Bidesh India Ltd to ensure supply of strategic minerals

Union Ministry of Mines has set up joint venture company namely Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) to ensure a consistent supply of critical and strategic minerals to Indian domestic market. This new company is mandated to ensure mineral security of the country and help in realizing the overall objective of import substitution.

About Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL)

Ownership: It is JV of National Aluminium Company Ltd (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Company Ltd (MECL). The equity participation between NALCO, HCL and MECL is in ratio of 40:30:30.

Functions: (i) It will carry out identification, acquisition, exploration, development, mining and processing of strategic minerals overseas for commercial use and meeting country’s requirement of these minerals. (ii) Help in building partnerships with other mineral rich countries like Australia and those in South America and Africa, where Indian expertise in exploration and mineral processing will be mutually beneficial bringing about new economic opportunities.

Background

Strategic minerals play substantial role to play in development and security of the nation and play critical role in the development of the national economy. In India, there are twelve minerals identified as strategic minerals including Lithium, Cobalt, Tungsten, Vanadium, Nickel etc. India is having very low domestic resource bases of these strategic minerals and is highly dependent on imports to meet is supply demand. At present sourcing of strategic minerals is done by creating trading opportunities, G2G collaborations with producing countries or strategic acquisitions or investments in exploration and mining assets of these minerals in the source countries. However, it is major area of concern for India, since regular supply from foreign countries may be interrupted for obvious reasons such as changing the geopolitical situation or major foreign mineral producers forming cartels (similar to OPEC) to dictate the prices.

Way Ahead

In present geopolitical scenario, it is imperative on India to focus on adopting superior technology for recycling, exploring substitutes, retain and modernize stockpiling of strategic materials. It should also encourage R&D in this area. Moreover, supply of these strategic minerals should be secured through strategic acquisition of overseas mines by forming diplomatic ties and trade agreements to avoid supply disruptions.

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