The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) has been amended through the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2021, which has been notified on 28.03.2021, for giving boost to mineral production, improving ease of doing business in the country and increasing contribution of mineral production to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Some of the major reforms brought in the Amendment Act, 2021 are as under: Removed the distinction between captive and merchant mines. It allows all captive mines to sell up to 50% of the minerals produced during the year after meeting the requirement of attached plant subject to the payment of additional amount as prescribed under sixth schedule of the MMDR Act. Further, all future auctions will be without any end use restrictions.
GSI has completed 8,577 sq. km Specialized Thematic Mapping (on 1:25,000 scale) out of 23000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2021-22 till the end of November 2021. GSI has completed 77,395.1 sq. km National Geochemical Mapping (on 1:50,000 scale) out of 240,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2021-22 till the end of November 2021. GSI has completed 35,220 sq. km National Geophysical Mapping (on 1:50,000 scale) out of 1,00,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2021-22 till the end of November 2021. GSI has completed preliminary marine mineral investigation for 3485 sq. km in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) out of 4,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2021-22 till the end of November 2021. GSI has been engaged in 6 programmes of National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM on 1: 50,000 scale) during 2021-22. GSI has covered 18,640 sq. km by Landslide Susceptibility Mapping out of 35,147 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2021-22 till the end of November 2021.
During the year 2021 (Till Nov-21), MECL has submitted 39 nos. of Geological Reports of different minerals commodities e.g. Coal, Lignite, Copper, Limestone, Iron ore, Manganese, Magnesite etc. and added 10,414.36 million tonnes of resources to National Mineral Inventory out of which 17 Geological Reports have been submitted to NMET. MoU has been signed with Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (OMECL), Bhubaneshwar for carrying out detailed exploration and allied works in the state of Odisha. MoU signed with Department of Mines & Geology (DMG), Rajasthan and Rajashtan State Mines and Minerals Limited (RSMML) for taking up feasibility study for solution mining of potash and pilot plant construction in Rajasthan. MECL signed MoU with Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDIL), Ranchi for detailed Energy & Non-Coal exploration in CMPDIL blocks.
.Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, inaugurated 5th National Conclave on Mines and Minerals-2021 on 23.11.2021 and felicitated 149 mines obtaining five star rating under star rating of Mines for the performance year 2017-18 to 2019-20. Mining Surveillance System (MSS) is a satellite-based monitoring system which aims to establish a regime of responsive mineral administration by curbing instances of illegal mining activity through automatic remote sensing detection technology. Using the Mining Surveillance System, 52 major mineral triggers have been detected across the country in second phase. Out of which 45 have been verified by the State Governments and in 5 cases unauthorized mining activities have been identified. Similarly, in respect of minor minerals, 130 triggers have been generated, out of which 104 have been verified and in 9 cases unauthorized mining activities have been identified. The training programmes to State Government officers for its adoption of the MSS for minor minerals have also been done. In the third phase in 2020-21, out of the 119 triggers generated for major minerals across the States, 62 triggers have so far been verified by the State Governments and 9 cases are observed as unauthorized Mining after field verification by respective State Governments.
Under the aegis of Ministry of Mines, a Joint Venture company namely the Khanij Bidesh India Ltd. (KABIL) of NALCO, HCL & MECL has been established. With the objective to ensure mineral security of the country, KABIL is mandated to identify & acquire overseas mineral assets of critical & strategic minerals so as to ensure supply side assurance of energy minerals – primarily the critical & strategic minerals such as Lithium, Cobalt & others. Based on commissioned study and selection criteria various countries have been shortlisted for exploring the mineral asset acquisition abroad. Engagement of KABIL is underway with select source countries such as Australia, Argentina, Bolivia and Chile etc. which are endowed with the cited critical & strategic minerals. The primary interface has been the respective Embassies & Missions of India in those countries for sharing of information with respect to prospective mineral acreages primarily with state owned organizations for taking up due diligence and investment decisions. It is foreseen that securing supply side assurance of the critical & strategic minerals such as Lithium, Cobalt etc. to start with will offer the intended impetus to the “Atma Nirbhar Bharat” initiative of Government of India and will cater to several sectors such as e-mobility, renewable energy, medicine, aerospace, aviation, etc.
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