India's critical mineral resources: a trade and economic analysis

Minerals are indispensable in modern industrial activities; infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, as indeed all sectors of economy. However, non-fuel materials (minerals and metals) have so far not received the same attention as have oil and natural gas. Non-fuel minerals even while directly contributing to less than 2% of GDP (in the form of mined ores), are the backbone that supports 15% of GDP, through the manufacturing sector. This illustrates clearly that even with only 4% of India’s import bill, non-fuel minerals can have an equally large impact on the economy, as that of fuel minerals which contribute to nearly 16% of the country’s imports. A strategic understanding of mineral resource security and critical minerals would require an informed analysis that juxtaposes the advancements in technology and changing consumption patterns with India’s resource endowments, geo-political challenges of sustaining imports, environmental goals and the rapidly evolving global economic conditions.