Conclave Held Annually Towards Encouraging Exploration Activities, Auction Regime and Sustainable Mining Practices
Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi will be addressing the National Conclave on Mines and Minerals to be held in New Delhi on the 23rd of this month. Various stakeholders of the mining sector from across the country will be participating in the conclave and hold strategic discussions on key issues and opportunities in the mining sector to bring in higher growth and facilitate the ‘Ease of Doing Business.
The 5th national conclave on Mines and Minerals will have many significant segments that will encourage exploration activities, auction regime and sustainable mining practices in the country. Award ceremony for 5-star rated mines for note-worthy performance will be another highlight of the one-day conclave.
At the onset of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, the regime of the auction for grant of mineral concessions has brought about transparency and removed discretion in the mining industry and auction process. This has not only resulted in a substantial increase in revenue to the State Governments but also brought about the paradigm of ‘Ease of Doing Business in our mining sector.
Ministry of Mines introduced the concept of the National Mining Conclave in 2016 in order to provide the right platform for meaningful interaction among all stakeholders like Central Government officers who are policymakers, state government officers, the real executors in the auction regime, industrial sector and the industry associations.
The National Conclaves on Mines & Minerals is reckoned as an overwhelming success in providing an effective platform to showcase the key policy initiatives undertaken by the Centre and helped the Government in garnering valuable feedback for furthering the efforts to enable steady growth of the mineral sector.
The Ministry of Mines had launched the scheme of ‘Star Rating of Mines’ for awarding the mining lease owners in 2016 for their efforts and initiatives for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF). One to five stars are awarded to mines based on the provisions stipulated, with the best performing leases being given 5 Stars. The mining leaseholders with a 5-star rating for the last three years will be felicitated in the conclave to encourage sustainable mining.
52 Potential Mineral Blocks to be Handed over to 15 State Governments
Further, 52 potential mineral blocks carved out of G4 stage mineral investigations will be handed over to the State Governments during the conclave. The blocks are located across fifteen States including two blocks of North Eastern (NER) States, six of Chattisgarh, eight blocks in Madhya Pradesh and six blocks in Maharashtra. These comprise many minerals and deposits for supporting various industries such as 8 limestone blocks, 8 gold blocks, 8 iron ore blocks among other minerals. Auctioning of these blocks, along with the 100 blocks recently handed over in September this year will further strengthen the mineral economy of the country.
The Centre has recently allowed the participation of private parties in exploration by amending the MMDR Act to increase the pace of exploration and to bring in advanced technology in mineral exploration. During the conclave, Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi will also launch the online portal for accreditation of agencies in the mineral sector to enable private exploration entities to accredit themselves through transparent and paperless processes. Ministry of Mines has developed an accreditation scheme through QCI-NABET.
Reimbursement of ‘Transaction advisor fee’ (@ Rs. 10.00 Lakh per successful auction) to State governments from NMET fund for successful auctioning of mineral blocks during the current financial year will also be held during the conclave.
Technical sessions will be organized where panel discussions on the recent amendments in the mining legislation to ease the process of auction of mineral blocks and on the initiatives taken for mineral exploration in the country as well as utilization of Nation Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) funding will be held.
The Central and State Governments have been working in coordination to further strengthen the auction regime, and to identify more and more mineral blocks for auction to increase domestic mineral production. The Conclave will provide a unique opportunity to the State Governments to showcase their auctionable mineral blocks with regard to its exploration, mineral resources, transport connectivity from the mineral block, policy scenario in State and incentives to attract prospective investors. It will also provide the right opportunity for investors to identify the mineral blocks and participate in the auction.
The participation of the industry and other stakeholders in the earlier conclaves was kept free of charge for increased participation and the same will be continued in this conclave also. This would provide an effective platform to various Government organizations of the mining sector, viz. Union Mines Ministry, State Mining Departments, regulators such as IBM & DGMs, explorations entities GSI & NMET, etc. to interact with the mining and allied industry stakeholders.
The PSUs which are closely associated with the mining activity directly or as an integral part of their production process would be one of the major stakeholders assisting the Ministry in organizing the conclave. These PSUs are HCL, NALCO, & MECL under the Ministry of Mines and the companies in which the government stake is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Mines, viz. HZL & BALCO.