Unveiling the FICCI Report on “New Age Energy Minerals,” Mr Vivek Bharadwaj, Secretary of the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, expressed his enthusiasm for the potential of India’s energy mineral sector.
Mr Bharadwaj highlighted the importance of energy minerals in the transition towards a net-zero future and cited the example of Ilmenite, a mineral abundant in India. Despite holding 11% of the world’s deposits, India imports a billion dollars’ worth of titanium dioxide yearly. He attributed this to technological inefficiencies, and litigation.
To unlock the sector’s potential, Mr Bharadwaj emphasised the need to open the sector to private players, encourage domestic exploration, and adopt efficient technologies. He also touched upon the challenges faced by the offshore mining industry and noted that the government is taking decisive steps to amend the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002.
“I think the government, which is very decisive, very proactive, is in the process of amending the Offshore Areas Act that was put in the public domain for consultations.
The consultations are now over, and it will be shortly debated by the Parliament,” said Mr Bharadwaj. He highlighted the importance of developing India’s critical minerals sector, leveraging the country’s vast resources, and modernising policies to create a sustainable and competitive industry.
In his keynote address, FICCI President Mr Subhrakant Panda emphasised the importance of mining for India’s GDP and underscored the potential of new-age energy minerals in supporting the country’s growth.
On occasion, Mr Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and Managing Director, Tata Steel Mining, highlighted the growing demand for minerals.
He pointed that Western Australia has committed $14 million to accelerate new-age minerals exploration, and Germany has opened new mines in the Black Forest area after 27 years.
FICCI Secretary General, Mr Shailesh Pathak also spoke.
Despite holding 11% of the world’s deposits, India imports a billion dollars’ worth of titanium dioxide yearly.