The long-awaited dream to acquire strategic mineral assets abroad is all set to turn into reality as National Aluminium Company Ltd (NALCO), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL), the three CPSEs under Ministry of Mines, Government of India, signed the Joint Venture Agreement to form Khanij Bidesh India Limited (KABIL), which has mandate for acquisition, exploration & processing of strategic minerals abroad for commercial use and for supplying to meet the domestic requirements.
The Joint Venture Agreement amongst the three stakeholders was signed by Dr. Tapan Kumar Chand, CMD, NALCO, Shri Santosh Sharma, CMD, HCL and Dr. Ranjit Rath, CMD, MECL in the presence of Shri Prahallad Joshi, Honbl’e Union Minister for Mines, Coal & Parliamentary Affairs. Minister Shri Prahallad Joshi appreciated the efforts of NALCO and the other two PSUs and said that KABIL will ensure mineral security of the nation, and will help in realizing the overall objective of import substitution.
Shri Anil Mukim, Secretary of Mines, Govt. of India, Dr. K. Rajeswara Rao, Addl. Secretary, Mines, Shri Anil Kumar Nayak, Jt. Secy, Mines were also present on the occasion along with other senior officials of Ministry of Mines& Coal viz. Shri N. K. Singh, Shri Bipul Pathak, Shri Alok Chandra and Ms. Reena Sinha Puri.
It may be mentioned that the contribution of Equity proportion among NALCO, HCL and MECL will be in the ratio of 40%:30%:30% respectively.
Twelve strategic minerals have been identified and the initial focus will be on Lithium and Cobalt. Preliminary due-diligence of identified assets shall be initiated soon.
Earlier in Feb 2019, NITI Aayog had cleared the proposal to form the JVC by the three CPSEs to acquire minerals which are not available in India.
It may be noted that KABIL will be amongst a handful of Companies in the Country for acquisition of mineral assets abroad.