The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on 11 October approved amendment of Second Schedule of the Mines and Minerals (Development
and Regulation) Act, 1957 (‘MMDR Act’) for specifying rate of royalty in respect of 3 critical and strategic minerals, namely, Lithium, Niobium and Rare Earth Elements (REEs).
Recently, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment act, 22023 was passed by the Parliament, which has come into force from 17th August, 2023. The Amendment, among other things, delisted six minerals, including Lithium and Niobium, from the list of atomic minerals, thereby allowing grant of concessions for these minerals to private sector through auction.
Further, the amendment provided that mining lease and composite license of 24 critical and strategic minerals (which are listed in Part D of the First Schedule of the Act), including Lithium, Niobium and REEs (not containing Uranium and Thorium), shall be auctioned by the Central Government.