PANAJI: The Union mines ministry has asked 11 states, including Goa, to complete preparations by April 1, 2019 for auctioning the mining leases, which will expire on March 31, 2020.
In a letter to the principal secretary of the mines department of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan, joint secretary of the Union mines ministry Niranjan Singh stated that non-captive mining leases under Section 8A(6) of the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, will expire on March 31, 2020. To ensure that there is no disruption in production in the mineral sector, it is important that these expiring mining leases are timely put up for auction, for which the exploration of the blocks is to be completed.
In order to achieve this, the mines ministry has amended the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules in March 2018 making it mandatory for the lessees of mining leases, covered under MMDR (amendment) Act, 2015 and where the date of expiry of the lease is on March 31, 2020, to carry out general exploration over the entire mineralised areas as per rule of the Mineral (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015, before April 1, 2019.
“You are requested to kindly ensure that the timelines stipulated by the MCDR 2018, for various activities, such as submission of the modified mining plan to carry out G2-level exploration and its approval, completion of G2-level exploration before April 1, 2019 and preparation and submission of geological study report are adhered to,” the letter sent to the states has said.
The Union ministry has said the exploration plan has to be prepared with the approval of the Indian Bureau of Mines for satisfying the requirements and timelines.“This will help in preparing the expiring mining leases for auction process in a time-bound manner and also give the preferred bidders the time to obtain various statutory clearances before commencing mining operations,” Singh said in the letter.