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On Sept. 7, the state government of Maharashtra changed the law governing employment in retail and commercial establishments to exempt those employing fewer than 10 persons from compliance, a change estimated to affect 350,000 establishments and several million employees.

In good news for small, new, and new-entrant foreign establishments, the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act of 2017 brought the law into conformity with present-day reality by, for instance, enabling women to work hours other than 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., allowing online business registration and filing of returns, and empowering the government to fix separate opening and closing hours for various establishments, such as malls and shopping complexes.

To boost a vibrant industrial sector that contributes 14.6 percent of the country’s GDP, Maharashtra earlier this year amended the Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act to exempt businesses employing fewer than 50 people from statutory provisions preventing the employment of contract workers for work considered perennial in nature. The law previously applied to businesses employing 20 or more employees. Read More

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The regulatory framework for the mining industry is governed by both Central and State laws by virtue of the Seventh Schedule of Constitution of India. The minerals are divided into two categories, namely major minerals and minor minerals. Major minerals are governed by the regulations framed by Central Government and thus, are the same throughout India whereas minor minerals are governed by State Government in accordance with the powers delegated. Accordingly, following are the legislations governing the mining sector in India:

 

  • Mines Act, 1952 and Mines Rules, 1955 – To regulate labour and safety in mines;
  • Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (“MMDR Act”) – A principal legislation for the development and regulation of mines and minerals in India. Following are rules framed by Central Government under MMDR Act:
    • Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 (“MCR”)
    • Mineral Conservation & Development Rules, 1988 (“MCDR”)
    • The Minerals (Other than Atomic and Hydro Carbons Energy Minerals) Concession Rules, 2016 (“MCR, 2016”)
  • Offshore Areas Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 (“OAMDR Act”) and Offshore Areas Mineral Concession Rules, 2006 – To provide for the development and regulation of mineral resources in the territorial waters, continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, and other maritime zones of India; and
  • Rules framed by State Government framed under MMDR Act for governing minor minerals such as Maharashtra Minor Minerals Extraction (Development and Regulation) Rules, 2013.

In India, the following authorities regulate the mining industry:

 

  • Ministry of Mines (MoM) - It is responsible for survey and exploration of all minerals, other than natural gases, petroleum and atomic minerals, for mining and metallurgy of non-ferrous metals like aluminum, copper, zinc, lead, gold, nickel, etc., and for administration of the MMDR Act in respect of all mines and minerals other than coal, natural gas, and petroleum;

 

  • Geological Survey of India (GSI), attached office to MoM - It is responsible to facilitate exploration, geological mapping, and mineral resource assessment in India;

 

  • Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), subordinate office to MoM - It is responsible for regulation of mining in the country; Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC); and

 

  • State Pollution Control Boards such as Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.

Following are the licenses that have to be completed before the actual mining activities can be undertaken:

 

  • Reconnaissance Permit (“RP”);
  • Prospecting License (“PL”);
  • Mining Lease (“ML”); and
  • Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease (“PLML”).

 

Reconnaissance Permit

A reconnaissance permit is granted for the purpose of undertaking reconnaissance operations. An application for reconnaissance permit shall be made to the State government through the collector of the concerned district in Form – A, along with a non-refundable fee of INR 5 per square kilometre.

 

Once the reconnaissance permit is granted, a reconnaissance deed shall be executed between the applicant and the State Government within 90 days from the date of communication of the order or such further period as the State Government may allow in this behalf.

 

Reconnaissance operations refer to any operations undertaken for preliminary prospecting of a mineral through regional, aerial, geophysical or geochemical surveys, and geological mapping, but does not include pitting, trenching, drilling (except drilling of bore holes on a grid specified from time to time by the Central Government), or sub-surface excavation;

 

Prospecting license

A prospecting license is granted for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations. An application for a prospecting license shall be made to the State Government through the collector of the concerned district in Form – B along with a non-refundable fee calculated in accordance with the provision of Schedule – II of MCR which is as follows:

  • INR 250 for first square kilometre or part thereof; and
  • INR 50 for each additional square kilometre and part thereof.

Once the prospecting license is granted, a prospecting deed shall be executed between the applicant and the State Government within 90 days from the date of communication of the order or such further period as the State Government may allow in this behalf.

 

Prospecting operations refers to any operations undertaken for the purpose of exploring, locating, or proving mineral deposit.

 

Mining Lease

A mining lease is granted for the purpose of undertaking mining operations. An application for grant of a mining lease shall be made to the State Government through the collector of the concerned district in a Form – I along with a non-refundable fee of INR 2,500.

 

Once the mining lease is granted, a mining lease deed in Form K shall be executed between the applicant and the State Government within six months from the date of communication of the order or such further period as the State Government may allow in this behalf.

 

Mining operations refers to any operations undertaken for the purpose of winning any mineral.

 

Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease

A Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease is a two-stage concession granted for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations followed by mining operations and the same is granted through auction by the State Government in respect of minerals other than notified minerals. Notified minerals are:

  • Bauxite
  • Iron ore
  • Limestone
  • Manganese ore

The following licenses are to be completed before the actual mining activities can be undertaken:

 

  • Reconnaissance Permit or RP;
  • Prospecting License or PL;
  • Mining Lease or ML; and
  • Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease or PLML.

 

The documentation involved and process of each such license is as follows:

 

  • Reconnaissance Permit - A reconnaissance permit refers to a permit granted for the purpose of undertaking reconnaissance operations. An application for reconnaissance permit shall be made to the State government in Form – A along with non-refundable fee of INR 5 per square kilometre along with the following documents:
    • A valid clearance certificate in the form prescribed by the State Government for payment of mining dues such as royalty, dead rent, or surface rent payable under the MMDR Act or rules made thereunder;
    • If an applicant does not hold and has not held a reconnaissance permit, it shall not be necessary for him to produce the said certificate however, an affidavit to the satisfaction of the State Government is required to be furnished in this respect;
    • An affidavit stating that the applicant has (i) filed up-to-date income tax returns; (ii) paid the income tax assessed on him; and (iii) paid the income tax on the basis of his assessment as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961;
    • An affidavit showing the particulars of areas, mineral wise in the State, which the applicant or any person jointly with him (i) already holds under a reconnaissance permit; (ii) has applied for but not granted; or (iii) being applied for simultaneously;
    • Cadastral map showing applied area and detailed statement of the area applied for;
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company, deed of registration of the company, or deed of partnership of the firm or limited liability partnership; and
    • Documents showing financial worthiness.

 

  • Prospecting License - Prospecting license refers to a license granted for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations. An application for a prospecting permit shall be made to the State Government through the collector of the concerned district in Form – B along with a non-refundable fee calculated in accordance with the provision of Schedule – II of MCR which is as follows:
    • INR 250 for first square kilometre or part thereof; and
    • INR 50 For each additional square kilometre and part thereof;

Such application should be accompanied with the following documents:

 

  • A valid clearance certificate in the form prescribed by the State Government for the payment of mining dues. If the applicant is a partnership firm or a private limited company, such certificate shall be furnished by all partners and members of firm and company;
  • If the applicant does not hold and has not held a reconnaissance permit, it shall not be necessary for him to produce the said certificate however, an affidavit to the satisfaction of the State Government is required to be furnished in this respect;
  • An affidavit stating that the applicant has (i) filed up to date income tax returns; (ii) paid the income tax assessed on him; and (iii) paid the income tax on the basis of his assessment as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961;
  • An affidavit showing the particulars of areas, mineral wise in the State, which the applicant or any person jointly with him (i) already holds under a reconnaissance permit; (ii) has applied for but not granted; or (iii) being applied for simultaneously;
  • A statement in writing that the applicant has obtained surface rights over the area or has obtained consent of owner for starting prospecting operation where the land is not owned by him;
  • Memorandum and Articles of association of company, maps of applied area and relevant details of applied area, deed of registration of company or deed of partnership of firm or limited liability partnership; and
  • Documents with regards to financial worthiness.

 

  • Mining Lease - An application for grant of mining lease shall be made to the State Government through the collector of the concerned district in a Form – I along with a non-refundable fee of INR 2,500 along with the following documents:
    • Valid clearance certificate in the form prescribed by State Government for payment of mining dues;
    • An affidavit stating that the applicant has (i) filed up to date income tax returns; (ii) paid the income tax assessed on him; and (iii) paid the income tax on the basis of his assessment as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961;
    • An affidavit showing the particulars of areas, mineral wise in the State, which the applicant or any person jointly with him (i) already holds under a reconnaissance permit; (ii) has applied for but not granted; or (iii) being applied for simultaneously;
    • Where land is not owned by the applicant, proof of (i) obtained surface rights over the area or (ii) consent of the owner for starting mine may be furnished after execution of the lease deed but before entry into the area;
    • Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company or deed of partnership in case of partnership firm or limited liability partnership;
    • Every application for the grant of a mining lease shall, in addition to the specified fee, be accompanied by a deposit of INR 1,000 for meeting the preliminary expenses in connection with the grant of mining lease. The applicant shall deposit such further deposit as may be asked for by the State Government within one month from date of demand of such deposit; and
    • Documents with regards to financial worthiness.

 

  • Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease - A Prospecting License-cum-Mining Lease is a two stage concession granted for the purpose of undertaking prospecting operations followed by mining operations and the same is granted through auction by the State Government in respect of minerals other than notified minerals. The rules for the auction are formulated by the State Government. Upon successful bidding, the preferred bidder shall furnish performance security and a letter of intent shall be issued by the State Government to the preferred bidder. On compliance with the terms and conditions and obtaining all the consents, permits, no objections and approvals, the preferred bidder shall be considered a successful bidder. On fulfilment of the above, the State Government shall grant a PL-cum-ML (Composite License) to the successful bidder. The successful bidder must conclude prospecting activities within a period of three years, which may be extended up to a maximum period of five years. Upon completion of the prospecting activities, an application for the mining lease shall be made to the State Government. The application for mining lease shall be made through the collector of the concerned district in a Form – I along with a non-refundable fee of INR 2,500 and along with the following documents:

Valid clearance certificate in the form prescribed by State Government for payment of mining dues;

 

  • An affidavit stating that the applicant has (i) filed up-to-date income tax returns; (ii) paid the income tax assessed on him; and (iii) paid the income tax on the basis of his assessment as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961;
  • An affidavit showing the particulars of areas, mineral wise in the State, which the applicant or any person jointly with him (i) already holds under a reconnaissance permit; (ii) has applied for but not been granted; or (iii) being applied for simultaneously;
  • Where land is not owned by the applicant, proof of (i) obtained surface rights over the area or (ii) consent of the owner for starting mine may be furnished after execution of lease deed but before entry into the area;
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company or deed of partnership in case of partnership firm or limited liability partnership;
  • Every application for the grant of a mining lease shall, in addition to the specified fee, be accompanied by a deposit of INR 1,000 for meeting the preliminary expenses in connection with the grant of mining lease. The
    applicant shall deposit such further deposit as may be asked for by the State Government within one month from the date of demand of such deposit; and
  • Documents with regards to financial worthiness.

In India, the following are the requirements for mining exploration (reconnaissance permit, prospecting license or mining lease, as the case may be):

  • The person shall be an Indian national (including a firm or other association of individuals provided all the members of the firm or members of the association are citizens of India) or a company as defined under 2(20) of the Companies Act, 2013.
  • The person or a company, as the case may be, should have filed an affidavit stating that he/it has:
    • filed up-to-date income tax returns;
    • paid the income tax assessed on him; and
    • paid the income tax on the basis of self-assessment as provided in the Income Tax Act, 1961

Requirements for mining exploitation/production?

 

The following are the conditions related to a mining lease:

 

  • The lessee shall report to the State Government the discovery of any mineral in the leased area not specified in the lease, within 60 days of such discovery;
  • If any mineral not specified in the lease is discovered in the leased area, the lessee shall not win and dispose of such mineral unless it is included in the lease or a separate lease is obtained therefor;
  • The lessee shall pay, for every year, except the first year of the lease, such yearly dead rent at the rates specified in the third schedule of the MMDR Act and if the lease permits the working of more than one mineral in the same area, the State Government shall not charge separate dead rent in respect of each mineral;
  • The lessee shall also pay, for the surface area used by him for the purposes of mining operations, surface rent and water rate at such rate, not exceeding the land revenue, water and cesses assessable on the land, as may be specified by the state Government in the lease;
  • The lessee shall commence mining operations within two years from the date of execution of the lease and shall thereafter conduct such operations in a proper, skilful, and workman-like manner;
  • An Environment Clearance Certificate is to be obtained at every stage; and
  • The captive project plant should be set up in accordance with the directions provided by the Government of India to process the minerals so extracted.

Details of compensation for a mining lease are:

 

Royalty - In accordance with the MMDR Act, royalty is payable for the quantity of minerals removed from the lease area or consumed by the lessee. Rates of royalty vary from mineral to mineral and can be enhanced or reduced by the Central Government in case of major minerals once in three years and by State Government in case of minor minerals. For major minerals, a royalty is payable in advance for each quarter ending (i.e. March, June, October, and December) of each year. However, in case of minor minerals, a royalty is payable for six months ending the 30th June (to be paid before 15th July) and the 31st December (to be paid before 15th January) every year.

 

Dead rent - When a mine is temporarily closed, the lessee has to pay dead rent at the rate prescribed in the third schedule of MMDR Act. The rates can be enhanced or reduced once in three years. A lessee is liable to pay royalty or dead rent whichever is higher and not both.

 

Surface Rent - A lessee is liable to pay surface rent for the surface area used by him for the purpose of mining operations and water rate at such rate not exceeding land revenue, water and cesses assessable on the land.

 

Contributions to National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) and District Mineral Foundation (DMF) - The holder of a mining lease or a prospecting licence-cum-mining lease shall pay contributions to NMET and DMF as follows:

 

NMET Contribution - A sum equivalent to 2% of the royalty paid in terms of the Second Schedule; and

 

DMF Contribution - 10% of the royalty granted on or after the 12th January, 2015, and 30% of the royalty in respect of mining leases granted before the 12th January, 2015.

The mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease may be transferred to any person who is eligible to hold such lease under the MMDR Act with the previous approval of the State Government. The transfer process is as follows:

 

  • The transferor and the transferee shall, prior to the transfer, jointly submit an application (in the format as specified in Schedule IX to MCR, 2016) to the State Government, namely the transfer application along with the following details: 
    • consideration payable by the transferee for the transfer;
    • consideration in respect of the prospecting operations already undertaken; and
    • reports and data generated during the operations.
  • The State Government within a period of 90 days from the date of receiving a transfer application shall convey its decision to approve or reject such transfer for reasons to be recorded in writing by issuing a letter in writing. If the State Government does not convey its approval within 90 days from the date of receiving such notice, it is construed that the state government has no objection to such transfer.
  • Within 30 days from the date of the receipt of the approval letter from the State Government or upon expiry of 90 days period, as the case may be, the transferor and transferee have to jointly submit a duly registered transfer deed (in the format as specified in Schedule IX to MCR, 2016 or the format as nearly possible) with the State Government. In case of failure to submit the registered transfer deed to the State Government, the transfer application made shall become ineligible.
  • The date of commencement of transfer deed shall be the date on which the duly executed transfer deed is registered.
  • Once the ownership of the mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease is transferred, the transferor or his agent has to provide to the transferee or his agent, within seven days of the transfer, borehole cores preserved, plans, sections, samples, registers, reports, and other records maintained, and all correspondence relevant thereto relating to the mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease; and when the requirements have been duly complied with, both the transferor and the transferee or their respective agents shall forthwith send to the State Government and the authorised officer, as the case may be, a detailed list of borehole cores, sections, samples, registers, reports, and other records that have been transferred.
  • State Government may terminate the lease if the transferor has transferred such lease or any right, title, or interest therein otherwise in accordance with MCR, 2016.

The transferor and the transferee should ensure the following at the time of transferring the mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease:

 

  • No transfer of a lease can be made in contravention of any condition subject to which the lease was originally granted.
  • All transfers should be subject to the condition that the transferee has accepted all the conditions and liabilities under any law for the time being in force which the transferor was subject to in respect of such mining lease or prospecting license-cum-mining lease, as the case may be.
  • The transfer of mineral concessions is allowed only for concessions which are granted through auction. Where a mining lease has been granted other than through auction and where minerals from such mining lease is being used entirely in a manufacturing unit owned by the lessee, such mining lease may be permitted to be transferred subject to compliance with such terms and conditions and payment of such amount or transfer charges as may be prescribed.

Protected areas of any country help in conserving its biodiversity and therefore, it is imperative to protect these areas. In India, the following are protected areas as defined in Wildlife Protection Act, 1972:

 

  • National parks;
  • Wildlife sanctuaries;
  • Conservation reserves;
  • Community reserves; and
  • Marine protected areas.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change, the Government of India on December 9, 2011 has circulated guidelines for declaring eco-sensitive zones (ECZs) around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, with an aim to ensure to regulate certain activities around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries so as to minimize the negative impacts of such activities on the fragile ecosystem encompassing the protected areas.

 

  • A prior approval of the Central Government under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for clearance of a mining project. Also, certain additional measures to protect nature are prescribed. Such measures include afforestation to compensate for the loss of flora, implementation of a wildlife management plan to combat the adverse impacts on the fauna, afforestation of safety zone, phased reclamation of mined out areas, etc., and same become part of the mining project;
  • An environmental clearance certificate from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;
  • Consent from the Pollution Control Board of the State to operate where the mining activities are to be undertaken;
  • Permission from the Government of India is required and for the same, an applicant is required to prepare and submit the report on Environment Impact Assessment and Environment Management Plan in respect of mining activities;
  • In case a proposal involves diversion of forest land located within a protected area notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, approval of the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is required.

Mining is a process of extracting mineral from earth and thus, it interferes with elements of environment which consequently affects the growth and survival of flora and fauna and the life on the earth. The major environmental problems caused by the mining activities are:

 

  • Pollution of ground water and surface water;
  • Loss of productive land by mining;
  • Air pollution, Noise pollution;
  • Disturbance of soil strength; and
  • Deforestation, etc

Therefore, certain environmental related permissions/clearances are required for undertaking mining activities in India.

 

Government requirement for mining projects

 

In light of the relevant impact, certain licenses/clearances are required by the Government of India prior to commencing the mining operations:

 

  • Every entrepreneur who is applying for a mining lease is required to prepare an Environment Impact Assessment (“EIA”) and an Environment Management Plan (“EMP”) report and obtain permission from the Government of India for mining activities;
  • Environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on the recommendations of an Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) to be constituted by the Central Government for the purposes of this notification;
  • Forest clearance from the Central Government under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 if the mining activities are to be undertaken in forest land;
  • Consent to operate from the Pollution Control Board of the State in which the mining activities are to be undertaken.

 
Mining at the following areas is prohibited under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and rules made there under:

 

  • Mining within a distance of 510 metres from high tide mark;
  • Commercial mining in Eco Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries declared by Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

India is well endowed in terms of most minerals. The country produces as many as 95 minerals – four fuel-related minerals, ten metallic minerals, 23 non-metallic minerals,three3 atomic minerals, and 55 minor minerals (including building and other minerals). The mineral development and mining sector is a significant contributor to India’s GDP growth. The provisional estimates of Gross Value Added (“GVA”) (at 2011-12 prices) accrued from the mining and quarrying sector for 2018-19 is at INR 370,564 crore. Similarly, the provisional estimate of GVA (at current prices) for 2018-19 is at INR 410,151 crore. The mining and quarrying sector’s contribution (at current price) to GVA accounted for about 2.38% for the year 2018-19.

 

Following are the important recent mining developments in the mining industry in the past year.

The Government of India has introduced the following subordinate rules for implementation of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Act, 2015 which aimed to bring in greater transparency, remove discretion and infuse greater ease of doing business:

 

  • The Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015;
  • The Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015, amended in November, 2017;
  • The Mineral (Non- exclusive Reconnaissance Permits) Rules, 2015;
  • The National Mineral Exploration Trust Rules, 2015;
  • The Mineral (Mining by Government Company) Rules, 2015;
  • The Mines and Minerals (Contribution to District Mineral Foundation) Rules, 2015;
  • The Atomic Minerals Concession Rules, 2016, amended in February, 2019;
  • The Mineral Concession (other than Atomic and Hydrocarbon Energy Minerals) Rules, 2016;
  • The Mineral Conservation & Development Rules, 2017, amended in March, 2018;

 
National Mineral Policy 2019 (replacing former National Mineral Policy, 2008) was launched for the purpose of ensuring more transparency, better regulation and enforcement, and balanced social and economic growth into the sector. The focus areas of the policy are:
 

  • Introduction of right of first refusal for RP/PL holders;
  • Encouraging the private sector to take up exploration;
  • Auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP-cum-PL-cum ML on revenue share basis;
  • Encouragement of merger and acquisition of mining entities;
  • Transfer of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas;
  • The 2019 Policy proposes to grant industry status to mining activity to boost financing of mining by private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by the private sector; and
  • It also mentions that long-term import-export policy for minerals will help the private sector in better planning and stability in business.

The Mining Surveillance System (MSS) Project was launched on January 24, 2017, with the aim to curb illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology.

 

The Central Government has established a Trust called the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) with the objective to use the funds accrued to the Trust for the purposes of regional and detailed exploration. Also, the 11th meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) of NMET was held on 7th February, 2019 and approved nine mineral exploration projects amounting INR 1,844.42 Lakh.

 

The Government comprehensively reviewed its exploration strategy and formulated the National Mineral Exploration Policy-2016 (NMEP), which was notified on July 13, 2016. NMEP aims towards accelerating mineral exploration in the country. One of the salient features is the attractive provisions for inviting private investment in mineral exploration through a revenue sharing model. The Geological Survey of India has already identified 100 exploration blocks for mineral exploration for implementing such schemes. The blocks have been awarded to different notified mineral exploration agencies for implementation.

 

Foreign direct investment caps in the mining and exploration of metal and non-metal ores (including diamond, gold, silver, and precious ores but excluding titanium bearing minerals and its ores) have been increased to 100 % under the automatic route.

 

The tenure of the mineral concession has been increased from the existing 30 years to 50 years. Thereafter, the mining lease would be put up for auction (and not for renewal as followed in the earlier system).

 

The total value of mineral production (excluding atomic and fuel minerals) during Financial Year 2018-19 has been estimated at INR 1,24,020 crore, which shows an increase of about 10.11% over that of the previous year. During Financial Year 2018-19, the estimated value for metallic minerals is INR 61,009 crore or 49.19% of the total value and non-metallic minerals, including minor minerals is INR 63,011 crore or 50.81% of the total value.

 

The number of mines which reported mineral production (excluding atomic, fuel, and minor minerals) in India was 1405 in Financial Year 2018-19 as against 1430 in the previous year. Out of 1405 reporting mines, most of the mines were reported in Madhya Pradesh followed by Gujarat, Karnataka, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Goa, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand.

 

Fifty-four mineral blocks across nine States, namely Rajasthan, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, and Maharashtra have been successfully auctioned until Financial Year 2018-19.

With around 72% of India’s current power being generated through coal, the mining industry plays a pivotal role in the 'Make in India' vision of the Prime Minister from an energy security standpoint. The mineral development and mining sector is a significant contributor to India’s GDP growth. With the increasing efforts in R&D and technological innovations, the mining and minerals industry has developed huge human resource requirements. Many companies in this sector are expanding their operations and are working on new projects and, accordingly, developments are taking place rapidly.

 

The following are the actions and plans that the Government of India is expecting to take for mining developments in the next few years:

 

  • The Government of India aims to increase mineral production (in value terms) by 200% in seven years;
  • The mining sector aspires to contribute 7-8% to India’s GDP and if this happens, India would realise a GDP of 9% in the coming years;
  • An increase in GDP rate is expected to create at least 25 million jobs, directly and indirectly. But, above all, India will have an edge over other countries in terms of exports of these minerals, employment generation, eradication of poverty, and taking a leadership position in the mining sector;
  • The government plans a turn of reforms in the mining sector by giving a big push to commercial mining to help attract investment and improve mineral production in the country;
  • The government would likely discontinue the practice of offering mining rights for mineral resources, including coal, to companies for captive use. Instead, a new hybrid mining lease agreement would be framed under which companies would be free to use extracted mineral;
  • The Government of India has launched National Mineral Policy 2019 (replacing former National Mineral Policy, 2008) for the purpose of ensuring more transparency, better regulation and enforcement, and balanced social and economic growth into the sector;
  • Research is going on to use the Indian Monazite in the 3rd Stage Nuclear Programme which may be after 2050;
  • To achieve its vision, Mineral of Exploration Corporation Limited has prepared ‘Corporate Rolling Plan’ up to 2022 for ‘Enhancement in Growth and Profitability of MECL’. Salient features of the Corporate Rolling Plan are:
    • Replacement of old conventional drills with modern hydrostatic drills in phased manner;
    • Planned recruitment and skill development of manpower;
    • Infrastructure development, including the construction of modern and state-of-the-art building for laboratories and a workshop at the Utility Complex of MECL, Nagpur;
    • Gearing up for faster and more accurate surveying by addition of DGPS etc.;
    • Upgrades to the workshop by installation of an induction hardening plant, setting up a diamond bit manufacturing plant, gear hobbing machine, CNC, etc. for reliable and uninterrupted supply of accessories;
    • Modernization and expansion of the laboratory by purchasing AAS, XRF, XRD, Derivatograph, etc. for enhancing capacity of analytical studies;
    • Increase in outsourcing of drilling work to meet additional drilling requirements; and
    • Augmentation of IT enabled software facilities for 3D ore body modelling and geological models for resource estimation.

This document is adapted from Cross-Border Guide for Mining Rights prepared for TerraLex: https://www.terralex.org/tlglobal/cross-border-guide-to-mining-rights.