AMENDMENTS IN THE MINERAL AUCTION RULES
The Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957 was amended in 2015. Subsequent to the amendment, the Ministry of Mines notified the Mineral Auction Rules, 2015 on 20/05/2015 to prescribe the procedure of the auction process.
Auction of concessions for major minerals (other than coal, petroleum and natural gas) was done for the first time in the history of mineral administration in the country. 33 blocks were successfully allocated. The value of minerals auctioned out is Rs.1,69,000 Crore. Revenue to states over lease period are estimated at Rs.1,28,000 Crore. The additional revenue on account of auction process is Rs.99,000 Crore. However, 60 auction attempts failed during this period.
The Ministry of Mines was monitoring the process very closely with the state governments. The consensus emerged that the Mineral Auction Rules need to be amended to make the process more pragmatic without sacrificing the checks on successful bidders. Accordingly, the Mineral Auction Rules have been amended on 30/11/2017.
The Multi-sensor Aero-geophysical Survey of the Obvious Geological Potential Area was inaugurated on 7th April, 2017. Airborne geophysical surveys is one of the most time efficient, comprehensive and cost effective methods of resource exploration worldwide. The project has commenced covering four blocks comprising 2 lakh sq. Km. is one of the largest airborne projects to be executed in one go anywhere in the world.
COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE NATIONAL MINERAL POLICY, 2008
A committee has been constituted under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Mines) to review the National Mineral Policy, 2008 as directed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide its judgement dated 2.08.2017 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 114 of 2014.
STAR RATING OF MINES
- Ministry of Mines, in its endeavor for taking up exhaustive and universal implementation of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) in mining, has evolved a system of Star Rating of Mines.
- The Ministry of Mines instituted the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for taking up mining activity, encompassing inclusive growth, without adversely affecting the social, economic and environmental well-being, at present and also in future generation.
- It has been institute as a two tier system providing self-evaluation templates to be filled in by the mine operator followed by validation through Indian Bureau of Mines.
- The evaluation templates for Star Rating was notified vide notification dated 23.05.2016 for major minerals
- Based on the performance of the mining lease, 1 to 5 Star rating, the positive impact of getting higher Star Rating will drive miners to quickly adopt sustainable mining practices.
- The Star Rating has been included as statutory provision in the MCDR for time- bound (2 years) achieving of minimum 4 stars.
- A web enabled online system for evaluation of measures has been developed and launched on 18th August, 2016 as a vital step for ensuring compliance of environmental protection and social responsibility by the mining sector.
- A template for star rating of miner minerals is also being prepared.
MINING SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM (MSS)
- 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.
- Ministry of Mines & Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) have developed the MSS, with assistance from Bhaskaracharya Institute for space applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG), Gandhinagar and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY).
- The system works on the basic premise that most minerals occur in the continuity and their occurrence is not limited to the lease area but is likely to extend in the vicinity. The MSS checks a region of 500 meters around the existing mining lease boundary to search for any unusual activity which is likely to be illegal mining. Any discrepancy is found is flagged-off as a trigger.
- The MSS is a transparent & bias-free system, having a quicker response time and capability of effective follow-up. The deterrence effect of ‘Eyes watching from the Sky’ would be extremely fruitful in curbing instances of illegal mining.
- A user friendly mobile app for MSS has been created and launched on 24th January, 2017 at Gandhinagar for enabling public participation in assisting the governments endeavor to curb illegal mining, which was being used by the inspecting officials to submit compliance reports of their inspections.
- In the initial phase, a total of 296 triggers across the country covering a total area of 3994.87 hectares wherein, 48 unauthorized mining have been detected after inspection of the triggers by the state government officials.
- The training of all the States for its adoption of the MSS for minor minerals has also been done.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA (GSI)
- GSI has completed 6927.5 sq. km Specialized Thematic Mapping (on 1:25,000 scale) out of 14,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017.
- GSI has completed 57,264 sq. km National Geochemical Mapping (on 1:50,000 scale) out of 1,37,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017
- GSI has completed 45,947 sq. km National Geophysical Mapping (on 1:50,000 scale) out of 1,00,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017
- GSI has completed 2693 line km by Heliborne Survey out of 25,000 line km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017
- GSI has completed preliminary marine mineral investigation for 3741 sq. km in Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) out of 30,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017
- GSI has been engaged in 37 programmes of National Landslide Susceptibility Mapping (NLSM on 1: 50,000 scale) during 2017-18. GSI has covered 25,776 sq. km by Landslide Susceptibility Mapping out of 45,000 sq. km target during Annual Programme 2017-18 till the end of November 2017
- GSI has digitized all its mineral exploration reports (6090 nos.) and uploaded those reports in OCBIS Portal.
- In the calendar year 2017, GSI has reported augmentation of natural mineral resources to National Mineral Inventory (NMI of Indian Bureau of Mines) of copper (24.94 million tonne), iron (206.23 million tonne), bauxite (4.5 million tonne), limestone (1238.61 million tonne), platinum group of element (0.402 million tonne), gold (1.67 million tonne), potash (9.66 million tonne), andalusite (45.87 million tonne) and coal (1822.44 million tonne)
- Geological Survey of India Training Institute (GSITI) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (moU) on collaboration for academic and research programs leading to award of Ph. D. Degree by GSITI from academic year beginning 1st April, 2018.
- GSI has implemented an integrated IT-enablement system – Online Core Business Integrated System (OCBIS) with a goal towards comprehensive data management across Missions and Support systems. OCBIS has been scoped to enhance IT capability of GSI as well as to put GSI into an open standards based IT platform to effectively exchange information with external stakeholders, including Ministry of Mines, national and state level earth science organizations / departments, industry and citizens.
NATIONAL ALUMINIUM COMPANY LIMITED (NALCO)
During the year 2016-17, Bauxite Mines and Alumina Refinery scaled a new high and achieved highest ever production since inception with bauxite transportation of 68.25 lakh MT (100% capacity) and Alumina Hydrate production of 21.00 lakh MT (100% normative capacity) respectively.
SWACHHA ICONIC CITY
NALCO has taken up beautification of Shri Jagannatha Temple, Puri under Swachha iconic city initiative. Shri Jagannatha Temple illumination completed. Both side walls of VIP road, Puri beautified with thematic painting based on Jagannatha culture. Renovation and beautification of Gandhi Park taken up at Puri.