Govt to launch National Mineral Exploration Policy
The Dollar Business Bureau
The government would soon launch the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) to incentivise participation of the private sector companies in mines exploration.
Ministry of Mines on Monday said India is blessed with large mineral resources and possesses geological environment similar to many other countries including Australia, South Africa, and South America.
But since exploration for deep and concealed deposits is a cost-intensive and risky enterprise which requires expertise and state-of-the-art technology, the government’s efforts need to be supplemented with an active participation of private sector companies which possess technological expertise on par with international companies.
As part of the NMEP, the government would engage private sector companies in carrying out exploration, which would, in turn, give the companies rights to share revenues either in the form of a lump sum or an annuity from the bidders of mineral block after e-auction. The revenue will be paid throughout the period of mining lease, with transferable rights.
“Government will also work out normative cost of exploration works for different kinds of minerals so that the exploration agencies could be compensated, in case they do not discover any mineable reserves in their respective areas. This will be an added incentive for exploration agencies to mitigate their risk of exploration,” the ministry said.
The Centre would select a private explorer on the basis of competitive bidding among the participating private sector companies.
The NMEP proposes to create the pre-competitive baseline geo-scientific data which will be available for open dissemination free of charge. A National Aero-geophysical Mapping program will also be launched to delineate the deep-seated and concealed mineral deposits.
The government would also set up National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) to collate all baselines and mineral exploration information - assembled by various government agencies and also mineral concession holders - to maintain these on a geospatial database.