• India and Australia are in advanced talks to secure critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and vanadium, among others.
  • According to multiple officials aware of the discussions, India is looking at securing “confirmed off take agreements” or “investments in processing” or both, as it looks to meet green energy requirements and reduce carbon footprint.
  • Apart from NMDC, which recently commissioned a gold mine in Australia and is expected to start prePFS (pre feasibility studies) there soon, KABIL (Khanij Bidesh India Ltd) – a JV of NALCO, Hindustan Copper and MECL – is also carrying out “due diligence” for two lithium and three cobalt mines in Australia.
  • India is also seeking access to additional mines, and PSUs like Coal India and NTPC have been asked to look for more mines in the region. India’s Mines Ministry is reportedly facilitating the process, too.
  • Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), is a Joint Venture Company among the three Government Enterprises: National Aluminium Company Ltd. (NALCO), bHindustan Copper Limited (HCL) and Mineral Exploration & Consultancy Limited (MECL).
  • In the ratio of 40:30:30, under the aegis of the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, formed to ensure supply side assurance of critical and strategic minerals and mineral security of the nation.
  • KABIL was Incorporated on 08.08.2019 under the Companies Act 2013.
  • Authorized capital of the KABIL is INR. 500 crore & Paid up capital is INR. 100 crore as equity investment by the three promoters in the JVC.
  • Amongst the three promoters, NALCO is one of the largest integrated primary producers of aluminum in Asia, HCL is India’s only vertically integrated copper producer whereas MECL is one of the largest mineral exploration agencies of India.
  • A combined work-force of the promoters is around 7800 full-time employees with expertise ranging across Geology & Exploration, Mining, Mineral Processing & Metallurgy, and other Core Engineering sectors. Combined market capital is approx. US $3 Billion with an authorized capital of $37 Million.
  • Currently, KABIL is focusing on identifying and sourcing battery minerals like Lithium and Cobalt and actively pursuing with several sourcing countries for acquisition of overseas mineral assets.

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