Ministry of Mines is responsible for survey and exploration of all minerals, other than natural gases, petroleum and atomic minerals; mining and metallurgy of non-ferrous metals like aluminium, copper, zinc, lead, gold, nickel etc. and for administration of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 in respect of all mines and minerals other than coal, natural gas and petroleum.
The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 prepared by the Ministry to replace the existing Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 has been approved by the Cabinet and the bill has been introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament. The bill has been prepared after several rounds of consultation and workshop with all Stakeholders. The Bill seeks a complete and holistic reform in the mining sector with provisions to address issues relating to sustainable mining and local area development, benefit sharing mechanism to the people affected by mining operations. The Bill also aims to ensure transparency, equity, elimination of discretions, effective redressal and regulatory mechanisms along with incentives encouraging good mining practices, which will also lead to technology absorption and exploitation of deep seated minerals.
Amendment of Rule 45 of MCDR 1988
The Ministry of Mines has notified amended Rule 45 in Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988, which stipulates mandatory registration of miners, stockists, traders, exporters, and end-users of minerals, and stringent reporting norms for ensuring end-to-end accounting of the mineral produced. In this system it is mandatory for the miners, traders, exporters, and end-users of the minerals to send a copy of the reports to State Governments also. The State Governments have also been advised to ensure that any automation in the reporting system developed at the State levels should be compliant with the amended Rule 45 of the MCDR. The registration system has already started and the Ministry of Mines is working closely with the IBM to commence the online submission of monthly and annual returns of production to be filed by the mining lessee at the earliest. The work on system of online reporting is in progress.
The Ministry of Mines is preparing a detailed Strategic Plan document “Unlocking the Potential of the Indian Minerals Sector” in order to systematize the functioning of the Ministry and align it more directly with the vision emanating from the National Mineral Policy. The Strategic plan has identified that the Indian minerals sector holds a huge potential for all stakeholders, including the central government, state government, community and the entire economy. With the right kind of support, the mining sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the GDP and also improve the revenues of royalty and taxes. The Strategic Plan has identified the six priorities to achieve the objectives. These priorities are – expanding resource and reserve base by stepping up exploration and aiding international acquisition of strategic minerals; reducing permit delays to create a more favourable policy environment; setting up core enablers for mining—infrastructure, human capital and technology; ensuring sustainable mining and development; creating an information, education and communication plan and establishing the right governance structure for effective implementation.
Geological Survey of India
GSI with its present focus on exploration for concealed and deep seated deposits has initiated a number of baseline geoscientific data generation programmes like National Geomorphological and Lineament Mapping, Hyperspectral Mapping and National Aeromagnetic Mapping. National Geochemical Mapping and Geophysical Mapping are continuing and are proposed to be completed by the end of the XII Plan through outsourcing and GSI’s own resources.
During the Field Season 2010-12 GSI has made significant augmentation/discoveries in Gold, Molybdenum, Basemetal, Iron Ore and Manganese in the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa respectively. GSI has also estimated coal resource of 2641.63 million tonne in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and 124.6 million tonne of lignite in Tamilnadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal during 2010-12.
Information technology is being widely utilized by GSI for monitoring progress of field and project activities, accessing unpublished project reports, publications (Records, memoirs) Detailed Information Dossiers (DIDs), District Resource Maps, Geological Quadrangular Maps, Case Histories, Photo-gallery etc. The GSI Portal provides structured, logically organized information to different categories of users. GSI Portal received the Silver Award in the “Best Government Portal” Category for National e-Governance Awards 2011 by DARPG. GSI has embarked upon the Phase III of the Portal Project and Online Core Business Integrated System (OCBIS) is the essential part of this initiative.
In its modernization drive GSI is in the process of acquiring a new ocean going research vessel for execution of seabed survey and exploration of non-living resources. GSI is also engaged in the procurement of a Geotechnical vessel with drilling capabilities. GSI is in process of installing geophysical instruments onto its ‘Dhruv’ helicopter to carry out low altitude geophysical surveys.
The Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Energy & Resources of the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for cooperation in the field of Geology & Mineral Resources, on March 15, 2011, during the visit of Saskatchewan Premier to India.
The Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Colombia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Geology & Mineral Resources on May 4, 2011 at Bogota. Shri Dinsha J. Patel, Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) signed the MoU on behalf of the Government of India. Mr. Carlos Rodado Noriega, Minister of Mines and Energy signed the MoU on behalf of Government of Colombia.
The Ministry of Mines of Indian and Afghanistan Government have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources Development on October 4, 2011, during the visit of Afghanistan President to India. The MoU was signed by Shri Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) for the Government and H.E Mr. Waheedullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines on behalf of the Afghanistan Govenrment. The signing took place in the presence of Prime Dr. Manmohan Sing and H.E. Mr. Hameed Karzai, President of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Mines and the Ministry of Energy & Mines, Government of British Columbia Province, Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 17th November, 2011, in the presence of Shri Dinsha Patel, Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) and H.E Ms. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia Government.
Joint Working Group Meetings
A meeting of the Joint Working Group on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources was held with the Province of Ontario, Canada on 1st March, 2011, through Video Conferencing.
7th Meeting of the India-Australia Joint Working Group on Energy & Minerals was held in Australia on 17-18 May, 2011 at Sydney, Australia. Ministry of Mines is the nodal Ministry from the Indian side for this Working Group. The Protocol signed at the end of the meeting endorsed the activities under the Action Plans on Mining and Minerals, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas and Coal sectors.
The 2nd Meeting of the India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Geology and Mineral Resources was held in New Delhi on 15th September, 2011. A Protocol was signed at the end of the meeting listed the future course of action for furthering the cooperation programme.
The 1st Meeting of the India-Malawi Joint Working Group on Mineral Resources Development was held in New Delhi on 17th October, 2011. The Indian side was led by Shri S. Vijay Kumar, Secretary in the Ministry of Mines, and the Malawi delegation was led by Mr. Anthony Livuza, Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy & Environment, Government of Malawi. A Protocol was signed at the end of the meeting listing the future course of action for furthering the cooperation programme.
The Ministry of Mines participated in Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2011 and put up India Pavilion, which received the attention of large number of visitors and prospective investors. A half day ‘India Day’ was also organised, concurrently with PDAC Convention, which showcased India’s mineral wealth and capabilities and potential of the India’s minerals sector as an attractive investment destination.
The China Mining (Congress & Expo) 2011, in November, 2011, was hosted by the Ministry of Land and Resources, China and the Tianjin Municipal Government, China. It is one of the largest mineral exploration and mining trading platforms and covers the whole value chain, including geological survey, exploration development, mining rights, trading, mining investment and financing, smelting and processing technique and equipment, mining services, etc. The Ministry participated in the Congress and set up an Exhibition booth at the Expo. The Indian delegation also visited mining sites, mineral processing units and mineral laboratories.
The Ministry of Mines participated in the 22nd World Mining Congress held in September, 2011 at Istanbul, Turkey and also participated in the XXIX International Convention on Mining held in Acapulco, Mexico in the month of October, 2011.