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Ministry of Mines to start auction for 35 offshore blocks in next three months

Friday, 16 Feb 2024
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The Ministry of Mines will auction 35 offshore blocks and 24 more blocks in the pipeline. The auctioning process for these blocks would commence in the next two to three months, following the recent amendments to the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 2002.

The announcement was made at the end of the Offshore Exploration - Synergies and Opportunities (OESO) workshop at Mangalore in Karnataka on 15 February, 2024. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is poised to enhance India's offshore mineral exploration with these mineral blocks already transferred to the government for auctioning.

The Ministry emphasised the development of procedures, norms, and SOPs to facilitate private sector participation in the exploration and exploitation of these blocks. India's vast yet untapped offshore resources include polymetallic nodules, heavy mineral placers, lime mud, and construction sand. The collective responsibility is to harness these resources sustainably, aligning with the government's vision for economic development.

The workshop featured in-depth discussions on legislative amendments, guidelines for private exploration agencies, and sustainable exploration practices.

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