The State Mining Corporation handed over to DHI
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has handed over the certificate of incorporation of the State Mining Corporation (SMC) to the Druk Holding and Investment on the 31st of December 2014 at a function held on the conference hall of the National Assembly hall.
To take the SMC forward, DHI has put in place a small management team. An immediate action of the SMC will be to explore potential markets for phylite and subsequently mine the mineral on a priority basis as desired by the MOEA. Additionally, the SMC management will also initiate exploration of gypsum, and coal to be supplied to Dungsam Cement Corporation Limited and Penden Cement Authority Limited. In terms of other minerals, the MoEA feels that the SMC should focus on and explore minerals of strategic importance. Therefore, the future plans and activities of the SMC will depend on the final and approved Mineral Development Policy (MDP) in which strategic minerals will be defined. The SMC will operate mines based on best practices of the industry, demonstrating transparent allocation of resources, using the cleanest mining technology, and always
taking into consideration the environmental impact of the business.
In the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s 2014 State of the Tsa-Wa-Sum address he identified the mining sector as one of the five jewels of the Bhutanese economy:
“the mining sector has immense potential to increase economic opportunities, increase jobs, generate more revenue not just for the government but also our local communities. And we can capitalize on this potential without destroying the environment by using environmentally friendly technology and enforcing environmental rules and regulations. A Mineral Development Policy is under consideration by the government to provide strategic overview and direction to the mineral sector and to ensure that mining has minimum impact on the environment and local communities.”
Against this backdrop, the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) took the very important policy decision to form a State Mining Corporation (SMC). In doing so, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MoEA) and Ministry of Finance (MoF) deliberated the pros and cons of establishing the SMC under either MOEA or DHI to determine the most appropriate parent agency for the SMC.
The core mandates of the SMC have been drawn from the Terms of Reference (ToR), which was jointly finalized by MoEA, MoF and DHI. The Articles of Incorporation (AoI) for the SMC are based on the agreed ToR. And having fulfilled all regulatory requirements of the Companies Act of Kingdom of Bhutan 2000, the SMC has been registered as a new subsidiary company under DHI. To mark this important milestone, the formal handing over of the SMC from the government to DHI was held on 31st December 2014.
SMC is expected to exhibit leadership in the mining sector by developing expertise and human resources and bringing in best technology and best mining practices. During the launch of the SMC, Lyonpo said that SMC is the hope to fulfill the wishes of the King, the people of Bhutan and the Country to develop a mining sector that benefits the present and the future generation.
Minister for Economic Affairs, Lyonpo Norbu Wangchuk handed over the Incorporation Certificate of the State Mining Corporation (SMC) to the Chairman of the DHI Dasho Sangay Khandu.