Critical non-fuel minerals security: Why India urgently needs to have a policy in place
Mineral resources security is an issue of significance at both the strategic as well as economic levels. Securing access to sufficient, reliable, affordable, and sustainable supplies of minerals is increasingly becoming an important factor for sustainable functioning of economies. Mineral resources are broadly classified into two categories: fuel and non-fuel. Fuel minerals include fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal, while non-fuel minerals are commonly understood to include a variety of materials such as metals, metal alloys, and non metals. While fuel minerals, particularly oil and coal, have been studied, discussed, and debated upon extensively, and their security remains a dominant theme in policy and media, non-fuel minerals, despite being indispensable constituents of society, have been relatively understudied, particularly in India. This policy brief focuses on selected non-fuel minerals. We argue that India needs to be alert to developments in the non-fuel minerals sector, and initiate policies and strategies to ensure materials security.