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iCET Initiative: India-US Collaboration on Critical Minerals



  Jun 24, 2024

Enhanced Collaboration on Critical Minerals: India and U.S. in iCET



India and the United States are advancing their strategic partnership to enhance cooperation on critical minerals, focusing on the supply chains of graphite, gallium, and germanium. This collaboration is part of the India-U.S. Initiative for Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) dialogue, chaired by the National Security Advisers of both countries.

Key Objectives and Strategies

1. Bilateral Agreement: The U.S. Department of Commerce and India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Mines are working to finalize a bilateral agreement to further cooperation on critical minerals.

2. Promoting India’s Role: The partnership aims to highlight India’s vital role in the mineral security partnership by co-investing in lithium resource projects in South America and rare earth deposits in Africa. This will help diversify critical mineral supply chains responsibly and sustainably.

3. Expanding Exploration: India has listed 30 critical minerals essential for the country and is seeking to acquire mines abroad while expanding domestic exploration. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 was amended in 2023 to facilitate this expansion.

4. KABIL Joint Venture: India has established Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) with contributions from National Aluminium Company Ltd, Hindustan Copper Ltd, and Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Ltd. KABIL aims to acquire critical mineral assets abroad, such as lithium and cobalt in Australia, Argentina, and Chile.

5. Mineral Security Partnership: India has joined the U.S.-led mineral security partnership to enhance cooperation in securing critical mineral supply chains by investing in resource-rich countries.

Advanced Materials Research and Development

• Research Collaboration: An India-U.S. advanced materials research and development forum will be established to expand collaboration between American and Indian universities, national laboratories, and private sector researchers.

• Technological Collaboration: The partnership will explore bilateral collaboration in technologies for neodymium-iron-boron metal, alloy, and magnet making, including collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy entities.

Conclusion

The enhanced collaboration between India and the U.S. on critical minerals under the iCET initiative represents a significant step towards securing and diversifying the supply chains for essential minerals. This partnership will not only bolster India’s mineral security but also contribute to the sustainable and responsible management of global critical mineral resources.




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