Mineral Exploration Corporation not to sell mining data

Mineral auction will begins in October or November

GN Bureau | August 8, 2015

#public sector undertaking   #mines   #mineral  

As the first phase of non-coal mineral auction will begins in October or November, the government had done away with the policy of selling detailed exploration reports of state-owned Mineral Exploration Corporation (MECL).

Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday said that a committee under the additional secretary in the ministry, with representatives of private and public sector companies, will be formed to recommend a national mineral exploration policy.

Tomar did not say how many blocks might be auctioned. “Auctions have to be done by the states. They are preparing themselves on the field. As soon as it is over, they would begin the process,” he said. “After discussing various issues with 12 (mineral-bearing) states, we have come to the conclusion that the first phase of mineral auction will begin by this time period,” said mining secretaru Balvinder Kumar, the ministry’s secretary.

Parliament passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill in March, paving the way for auction of these mines. As mining is a state subject under the Constitution, auctions will be conducted by the states and the central government’s role will be limited to framing the rules to be followed in the process.

Tomar said the government had done away with the policy of selling detailed exploration reports of state-owned Mineral Exploration Corporation (MECL). “MECL has prepared 58 geological reports of detailed exploration, which will be offered free of cost to states, to aid and expedite the auction process,” he said.

According to a mines ministry press release, the government has spent close to Rs 350 crore as promotional grant for detailed exploration of 155 blocks of various minerals, and established about 5,600 million tonnes of mineral resources through MECL.

The minister and the secretary were addressing a mining leaders’ roundtable, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry.



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