Min­eral De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy to pro­mote so­cially re­spon­si­ble in­dus­try

Business Bhutan - - Front Page - Staff Re­porter

The draft Min­eral De­vel­op­ment Pol­icy (MDP) that the Cab­i­net ap­proved this week, touches upon a ga­mut of is­sues es­pe­cially pro­mot­ing an en­vi­ron­ment-friendly and so­cially re­spon­si­ble min­eral in­dus­try with strong value cre­ation and growth.

The pol­icy elu­ci­dates on the roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of dif­fer­ent agen­cies con­cern­ing mining and re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties while for the pur­pose of leas­ing, min­er­als are clas­si­fied into strate­gic, in­dus­trial and con­struc­tion ma­te­rial.

The ten­ure of mining lease has been in­creased to the ex­pected eco­nomic life of the mine or 30 years max­i­mum to at­tract in­vest­ment, en­cour­age value ad­di­tion and build in­vestor con­fi­dence.

Mining en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards are also re­quired to be strength­ened through prop­erly de­signed mine plan, en­vi­ron­men­tal man­age­ment and mit­i­ga­tion plan be­fore the lease is is­sued.

Mean­while, lease­hold­ers will be re­quired to adopt mea­sures to man­age and mit­i­gate ad­verse im­pacts of mining on the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties and min­i­mize so­cial risks aris­ing from mining ac­tiv­i­ties.

To mit­i­gate so­cial risks, an ac­cept­able so­cial im­pact as­sess­ment and mit­i­ga­tion plans are re­quired.

Fur­ther, the gov­ern­ment will en­cour­age and pro­mote a broad based own­er­ship in mining to share ben­e­fits from mining sec­tor among the pro­moter, the na­tion and the af­fected lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties. The pol­icy is ex­pected to trig­ger pos­i­tive re­forms for the sec­tor such as sep­a­ra­tion of pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory func­tions by form­ing the Mining Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (MRA), and adopt­ing ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal frame­work and guide­lines. The pol­icy will ul­ti­mately give di­rec­tion to the amend­ment and over­haul­ing of the Mines and Min­er­als Act 1995.

The draft was re­viewed and dis­cussed with all the rel­e­vant gov­ern­ment agen­cies and stake­hold­ers, tak­ing into ac­count the pos­si­ble ram­i­fi­ca­tion on ex­ist­ing laws and rules.

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