Reportedly, the President of India has approved the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Amendment Act, 2023, granting authority to the central government to auction mines and enhance the production of 26 critical minerals in the country.
This includes minerals like lithium, cobalt, and graphite, for which the government aims to expedite the bidding process. Even when the central government conducts the auctions, the actual mineral rights will be granted by the state government to the chosen bidders, with the resulting auction premium and other payments going to the state government. This move is likely to benefit purchasers of electric vehicles, batteries, and vital equipment, as the domestic supply of these minerals becomes more accessible. This amendment marks the fifth change to the MMDR Act of 1957 since 2014.