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Star rating for Indian mines by next month, satellite monitoring to check illegal activity

mineThe government of India will introduce a star rating for mines by next month and start monitoring mining activity using satellite, said mining secretary Balvinder Kumar said at an ASSOCHAM event held in New Delhi today.

“If (mines)y don’t get 4 or 5 star rating they will get 2-3 years to comply. By end of November, we will finish first phase of star rating,” he said.

To check illegal mining across the country through imaginary from National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC).

“We are going to monitor all the mining area through the satellite imaginary. We are also going to launch mobile app where anybody can upload photo of illegal mining,” said Mr. Kumar.

The automation of mining plan with online web portal giving real-time base data across all states, said Mr. Kumar.

“The export duty structure on iron ore shall not be change”. About the pending cases of section 10A2C, there are about 304 cases pending under this category, said Mr. Kumar.

Mining industry is in the phase of recovery where many reforms are taking place. Mining provides direct employment to 2.6 billion people. On real time basis, one can see production of all minerals across states.

STRONG RESPONSE IN AUCTION

A total of 9 mineral blocks put on auction have elicited excellent response, with upto 100% bidding over reserve price, the secretary said.

“A total 9 nine blocks have been put on ‘successfully’ auction including two from Karnataka iron ore plots and total 7 blocks are being put up to auctions by state government of Karnataka and we expect extremely good response in these seven mineral areas.”

The bids for the first iron ore in karnataka were 90% above the reserve price.

In the second mine, the bid was almost 100% over reserve price and these are very encouraging results. He said the Government will be getting above Rs 25000 crore by the way of royalties etc over the period of 50 years.

On the issue of aluminium industry minimum import duty hike or minimum import price (MIP), Mr Kumar said, we are examining this matter in great depth and two-three rounds of discussions have taken place with different segments of aluminium industry.

“So, either we may go for MIP or alternatively to increase the import duty but we want to develop consensus among the different segment of aluminium industry. We are working on it and in next 15 days will take decision on this issue.”

He also said the government was also examining the both the options of buy back of shares or declaration of special dividend or both options.

By end of this fiscal year, minimum 40-50 mining leases to be auctioned by various states. 15 category C mines were re-auctioned, earlier cancelled by Supreme Court.

He further said 250 districts District Mineral Foundation (DMFs) have been set up.

They are implementing Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) and nearly 2800 crore have already got in these districts by district mineral foundations.

“If we see exports, exports have increased tremendously. In 2015-16, it was 5.32 billion tonne; in this fiscal we have already bypassed that figure. Imports have also decreased sharply as against 2015-16 about 7 billion tonnes and now this has reduced to 1.022 billion tonnes. The overall mineral growth this year is about 10.6% in first five months. Iron Ore production has increased by 32% percent.

“Backward districts will get 200-400 crore every year, the huge amount will be spent on social economic development of these areas and these district area soon see transformation in their overall development scenario and many of these districts are Maoist affected”, Kumar added.

“SBI Cap consulting private sector participations in exploration of 100 mineral blocks to be explored by the agencies, the notification of this process will be in 2-3 weeks time”.
“Agencies to get 10 times of exploration fee if auctionable resources discovered; auctions to start after March 2017”, said Mr. Kumar.

The Aero-geophysical survey to start in 3rd week of November to complete in 2-3 years.

The secretary also said the government was considering how to make the guidelines governing exploration process easier and simpler.

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