By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, August 1, 2019: In a bid to ensure the mineral security of the country, three central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) — National Aluminium Company (Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd (HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) have formally signed the joint venture (JV) agreement to form Khanij Bidesh India Ltd (KABIL).

The JV Company has the mandate for acquisition, exploration and processing of strategic minerals abroad for commercial use and for supplying these minerals to meet the domestic requirement.

The JV agreement among the three stakeholders was signed by Tapan Kumar Chand, chairman cum managing director (CMD), Nalco, Santosh Sharma, CMD, HCL and Ranjit Rath, CMD, MECL in the presence of Prahallad Joshi, Union Minister for mines, coal & parliamentary affairs.

Joshi appreciated the efforts of Nalco and the other two PSUs, adding KABIL will ensure mineral security of the nation and will help in realizing the overall objective of import substitution.

In the joint venture, Nalco will own 40 per cent stake while HCL and MECL will have equity participation of 30 per cent each.

Twelve strategic minerals have been identified and the initial focus will be on lithium and cobalt. The preliminary due-diligence of identified assets shall be initiated soon.

Earlier in Feb 2019, NITI Aayog had cleared the proposal to form the JV company by the three CPSEs to acquire minerals which are not available in India. KABIL will be among a handful of companies in the country for acquisition of mineral assets abroad.

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