Published On:May 22 2024
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Korba District Lithium Mine Auction Expected Next Month in Chhattisgarh

The auction of the lithium mine in Chhattisgarh's Korba district, delayed due to the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, is anticipated to take place next month. In March, the Ministry of Mines had initiated a tender for the auction, attracting interest from various companies including Coal India (CIL), Vedanta, Adani Group, and Jindal Steel Power. Additionally, companies such as Ola Electric, Shree Cement, Khanij Bidesh India, Oriental Mining & Co, Dalmia, Rungta, and UltraTech were among the contenders, alongside a company from Argentina.

If Coal India secures the license, it will mark its entry into mining other minerals besides coal. "Because of the election Code of Conduct, the bids could not be opened, and the ministry would soon initiate the process," stated a senior official in the Chhattisgarh mining department. The completion of the process is expected in the first fortnight of June.

In February 2023, the Geological Survey of India (GSI) discovered lithium in the Katghora tehsil, with preliminary reports indicating deposits spread over 256.12 hectares, including 84.86 hectares of forest area. Geochemical mapping revealed inconsistent values of lithium in seven composite samples, ranging between 82.606 and 155 parts per million.

Korba’s Katghora block may also be recommended for a composite license, providing a prospecting license-cum-mining lease. It is part of the ongoing auction process of 20 mineral blocks across the country, according to the GSI report.

The Ministry is keen on expediting mining activities in Chhattisgarh. Union Mines Secretary V L Kantha Rao recently visited the state, seeking suggestions from mining and mineral industry representatives to enhance excavation work. Rao also emphasized the prevention of illegal excavation in closed mines and suggested initiating necessary processes if minerals were found in such mines.

Chhattisgarh is among the select states with access to the District Mineral Foundations (DMF) portal. Rao emphasized the use of DMF to increase beneficial activities and develop infrastructure in mining-affected areas, in response to demands from local communities.

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