10 offshore mineral auctions by mid-2024

Syllabus: GS-I, Subject: Geography, Topic: Resources – World and India, Issue: Offshore mineral auctions

Context: The first tranche of off- shore minerals auctions is likely to start this year.

Offshore mineral auctions:

  • Offshore minerals are located deep in the earth’s crust and are more difficult to extract than onshore minerals.
  • India’s offshore mineral reserves include gold, diamond, copper, nickel, cobalt, copper, manganese, and rare earth elements.
Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002

Objective: To provide a framework for the development and regulation of mineral resources in India’s  maritime zones.

●       Applicability: The Act applies to all minerals in these maritime zones, excluding mineral oils and hydrocarbons.

●       Granting Operating Rights: Establishes a system for granting reconnaissance permits, exploration licences, and production leases for exploration and extraction of minerals.

●       Reservation of Areas: Allows the government to reserve specific areas for specific purposes, such as scientific research or defence.

●       Powers of the Central Government:

○       Make rules for carrying out the provisions of the Act.

○       Grant, modify, suspend, or cancel operating rights.

○       Collect fees and royalties from permit and licence holders.

  • The act was amended in 2023 to provide an auction route for awarding production leases for offshore minerals.



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