Bhubaneswar: Three Central-sector PSUs, Nalco, HCL & MECL firmed up a joint venture company (JVC)– Khanij Bidesh India Ltd.(Kabil) . Kabil has the mandate for acquisition, exploration and processing of strategic minerals abroad for commercial use and for supply to meet the domestic requirments.

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, said a Nalco release.

National Aluminium Company(Nalco), Hindustan Copper Ltd.(HCL) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd. (MECL) will pick up 40%, 30% and 30% equity respectively in the new company Kabil.

The CMD of Nalco, Dr. TK Chand, HCL CMD Santosh Sharma, and MECL CMD Dr. Ranjit Rath signed the shareholding documents of the JVC in the presence of union mines minister Prahallad Joshi,

“Kabil will ensure mineral security of the nation and will help in realising the overall objective of import substitution”, said the union minister.

Union mines secretary Anil Mukim, additional secretary Dr. K. Rajeswara Rao, joint secretary Anil Kumar Nayak, along with other senior officials of ministry of mines and coal N. K. Singh, Bipul Pathak, Alok Chandra and Reena Sinha Puri were present on the occasion.

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. Kabil will be amongst a handful of companies in the country for acquisition of mineral assets abroad.