In­dia to auc­tion 100 min­eral blocks for ex­plo­ration by Nov

Resource Digest - - CONTENTS -

In­dia will auc­tion 100 prospec­tive min­eral blocks of 100 sq km area each by Novem­ber this year, a move that will boost the coun­try's min­ing po­ten­tial. The de­vel­op­ment comes after the govern­ment ap­proved a new Na­tional Min­eral Ex­plo­ration Pol­icy (NMEP), which will help in at­tract­ing more for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment in the min­ing sec­tor.

"Ge­o­log­i­cal Sur­vey of In­dia (GSI) has iden­ti­fied 100 blocks. SBI CAP is work­ing on the auc­tion modal­i­ties for these blocks and will sub­mit its re­port in 2-3 months," Mines Min­is­ter Naren­dra Singh To­mar told re­porters at the first na­tional min­er­als & min­ing con­clave. When asked about the time­frame of the auc­tion, he said: "The process will start in 4-5 months."

To­mar said the NMEP is based on rev­enue share model to en­cour­age pri­vate play­ers and FDI. A sum of Rs 2,116 crore will be needed for its im­ple­men­ta­tion, he added.

Stress­ing the need for pri­vate play­ers to come for­ward, he said In­dia has 8 lakh square km of pos­si­ble min­ing area but only 9-10 per cent has been ex­plored. There are two govern­ment agen­cies, GSI and MECL, for ex­plo­ration but their ca­pac­ity is lim­ited.

NMEP pro­poses that pri­vate en­ti­ties en­gaged to carry out re­gional and de­tailed ex­plo­ration will get a cer­tain share in rev­enue (by way of roy­alty/ premium to be ac­cru­ing to state govern­ment) from min­ing op­er­a­tion from the suc­cess­ful bid­der after e-auc­tion of the min­eral block.

The rev­enue-shar­ing could be ei­ther in the form of a lump sum or an­nu­ity, to be paid through­out the pe­riod of min­ing lease, with trans­fer­able rights. Se­lec­tion of pri­vate ex­plorer is pro­posed to be done through a trans­par­ent process of com­pet­i­tive bid­ding through e-auc­tion. He also urged the min­ing in­dus­try to al­lo­cate 10 per cent of their prof­its to min­eral ex­plo­ration, so that true po­ten­tial of In­dia's min­eral re­sources can be har­nessed. For this, rea­son­able ar­eas/ blocks for re­gional ex­plo­ration will be ear­marked/ iden­ti­fied by the govern­ment for auc­tion­ing.

On auc­tion of mines, he said states have so far auc­tioned seven mines with min­eral re­serves worth about Rs 29,000 crore. The rev­enue to ac­crue from these mines over the next 50 years will be more than Rs 13,000 crore. .

Ear­lier speak­ing at the con­clave, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley com­mended the changes in pol­icy and leg­is­la­tion brought in the min­ing sec­tor in past two years. He noted that these have strength­ened the min­ing in­dus­try and paved way for em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion, de­vel­op­ment of min­ing af­fected ar­eas and wel­fare of peo­ple liv­ing in min­ing ar­eas.

Jait­ley added that when the down­trend in global commodity re­verses, min­ing in­dus­try will ben­e­fit the most. Steps be­ing taken to ex­plore the re­sources will fur­ther boost the growth of mines and min­er­als in­dus­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.