Survey calls for new mineral policy, extending coal usage

Source: The post is based on the article Survey calls for new mineral policy, extending coal usagepublished in Livemint on 1st February 2023.

What is the News?

According to the Economic Survey 2023, India needs a carefully crafted multi-dimensional mineral policy to address the issues posed by an uneven distribution of rare earth elements.

What is the importance of Rare earth elements(REEs) and critical minerals?

Rare earth elements
Source: TOI

Rare earth elements(REEs) and critical minerals are essential for generating renewable energy. However, these are produced in a few countries and processed in even fewer countries.

Many experts also warn of the availability of rare earth elements and critical minerals to be the next geopolitical battleground as crude oil has been over the last fifty years.

What are the suggestions given by the survey?

There is a need to create strategic mineral reserves along the lines of the existing strategic petroleum reserves to ensure a continuous supply of minerals.

The government should carefully make a multidimensional mineral policy that would reduce India’s dependence on imports of rare earth elements(REEs) and critical minerals.

Government should consider investing in internal research including technological innovation for mineral exploration and processing and the development of recycling, reusing, and repurposing (R3) technologies.

India should also look to foreign partnerships such as the one established with Australia to develop India’s latent potential through critical minerals exploration and mining.

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