5 states have issued notice for inviting auctioning for mines in 28 blocks: Shri Narendra Singh Tomar,

5 states have issued notice for inviting auctioning for mines in 28 blocks: Shri Narendra Singh Tomar,

Minister of Mines and Steel, Ministry of Mines 
Ministry actively thinking of allowing private sector mining companies and overseas exploration firms to carry out new exploration in the country - Secretary, Ministry of Mines

New rules for atomic minerals in the offing - Shri Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines

            “The process of auction of mines is moving fast and is to start soon. 5 states have issued notice for inviting auctioning for mines in 28 blocks for major minerals” announced, Minister, Mines and Steel while delivering his inaugural address on the interactive session on encouraging Exploration in India: Charting the course for better mineral finds conducted by Confederation of Indian Industry in Delhi today. Minister said that MMDR act 2015 was amended to bring in transparency in the auctions and now the thrust is on exploration. The Government is committed towards bringing in an attractive exploration policy to encourage private investment and expertise into the sector and has set up National Mineral Exploration trust (NMET).
            Speaking further on the session, the minister stressed on the need for raising the exploration spend from the current 0.4% which is abysmally low. He said that the government is moving with a new sprit towards exploration, while Geological Survey of India (GSI), the Mining Exploration Corporation of India (MECI) and other public and private sector have been working in this direction there is a need for a cohesive thinking amongst all stakeholders on arriving to the solutions on delivering the targets and addressing the need of hour to tap the potential of the segment. 
            Speaking on the current challenges before the sector, Shri Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Ministry of mines, said that,  the draft National Mineral Exploration Policy will be ready in the few months has addressed the current concerns before the sector. Shri Balvinder Kumar informed that the ministry would soon notify rules for atomic minerals under mining law. 
            Admitting that the exploration of minerals requires huge amounts of technology and financial resources, Shri Balvinder Kumar said the government intends to bring in new models to attract the private sector in exploration. Elaborating further, Shri Balvinder Kumar, said that the three proposed models for attracting private sector participation in exploration could be 1) revenue share from Mining Lease proceeds for 50 years, 2) reimbursement of costs with reasonable profits or 3) Joint Venture with public sector on proceeds. He invited comments and suggestions from CII and industry within the framework of MMDR to encourage the exploration in the country.
            Welcoming the guests earlier in the session Shri Narendra Kothari, Chairman CII National Committee on Mining and Chairman cum-Managing Director NMDC Limited said that in the years to come, mining is expected to be a key industry, attracting huge investments (both domestic and foreign) thereby generating additional employment and stressed on concentrating on devising a strategy for a time bound Exploration throughout the country
Making Mineral specific and region specific demand supply analysis for various minerals and preparing exploration strategy accordingly; emphasize of the funding of the mineral exploration activities; Concentrating on exploration in Greenfield as well as Brownfield areas by utilizing the state of the art technology for the mineral exploration. There is a need of combination of geological, geophysical, geochemical, technologies for mineral exploration activities; making state-owned geological data more accessible and available to all; Development of technical expertise and training of manpower for more advanced exploration techniques
            Underlining the fact that despite having good geological reserves, India lags behind in the global exploration map, Shri P R Mandal, Head Strategy and Business Development, Essel Mining & Industries Limited said that there is a huge opportunity and scope for the private companies in the field of exploration in India in the near future and would require involvement of latest technology to exploit the potential in a cost effective and time bound manner. 
            Presenting his perspectives on the changed environment in the mining sector, Shri Sunil Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Hindustan Zinc Limited welcomed the government’s proactive steps in bringing transparency and forward looking policies for the mining sector. Going forward, he stressed on further thinking on the how to encouraging exploration, new revenue sharing models and the bringing in the best practices and collaborations for the fast development of the sector.
            Speaking on the session, Shri Charles Devenish, Chairman, Geomysore Services Private Ltd, stressed on the need for carving an industry friendly policy with some tax incentives in lines of Canadian and Australian to encourage exploration in the country. A vibrant mining sector is vital for a faster economic growth and infrastructure development.

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