India signs MoU for lithium and cobalt

Resources Technology and Critical Minerals Trailblazer hub

The Federal Government has signed a detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India’s Ministry of Mines for carrying out joint due diligence of select greenfield and brownfield projects to identify lithium and cobalt mineral assets.

The MoU was signed earlier this month by the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office (CMFO), and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER) along with India’s Ministry of Mines joint venture company Khanij Bidesh India (KABIL).

KABIL is mandated to identify and acquire overseas mineral assets of critical and strategic nature such as lithium and cobalt.

As part of the ongoing bilateral engagements between Australia and India, the second India-Australia Virtual Summit was held on March 21, 2022.

Both leaders noted that the global low carbon transition requires rapid development of clean technologies and equitable access to critical minerals, and then welcomed the signing of the MoU between KABIL and CMFO for the joint cooperation on critical minerals projects.

This detailed MoU follows the Government to Government (G2G) MoU signed between the Government of India and the Government of Australia through the Ministry of Mines and CMFO respectively for cooperation in the field of mining, as well as processing of critical and strategic minerals in June 2020.

Both countries have committed an initial investment of US$6 million ($7.99 million) for the joint due diligence process in the 50:50 ratio of participating interest.

An estimated timeline of six months has been envisaged for the due diligence process and further investment decisions.

The key principles and objectives of this MoU are:

  • To provide a collaborative framework for building an Australia- India partnership in the critical mineral ecosystem.
  • To support strategic national interest and commercial investment in Australian critical mineral projects.
  • To develop a robust and commercially viable critical minerals supply chain with the purpose to foster innovation, to support sustainable production and to ensure reliable supplies of the materials needed to fuel sectors like transport, energy, telecommunications, medicine, aviation and defence.

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.