Mineral exploration: Govt to give share in royalty to firms

Mineral exploration: Govt to give share in royalty to firms

 Aiming to boost private investment in the mineral exploration space, the government has decided that firms undertaking exploration will get a share of royalty from the mineral block for the entire lease period of 50 years.

The step, considered a major overhaul of the exploration laws in India, provides compensation for the firm undertaking exploration in case it fails to discover any mineral in the block. The decision forms part of the government’s much-awaited National Mineral Exploration Policy, which has been finalised by the Mines Ministry and has been sent to the 12 mineral-bearing states for their response.

“It is a win-win deal. The government handled the challenge under the MMDR Act of formulating mineral exploration policy that not only gives incentives to private sector, but also increases mineral exploration in the country,” Mines Secretary Balvinder kumar said.

The ministry is in the process of sending the draft policy document for inter ministerial consultation, following which it will be put before the Cabinet for approval.

When asked about the blocks covered and the timeframe, he said: “There will be about 80-100 blocks that will be put up for non-exclusive reconnaissance permits (RPs) through the auction route and this can happen as early as May this year.”

Win-win

 The decision is part of the National Mineral Exploration Policy
 The draft policy has been sent to the 12 mineral-bearing states
 Move to increase private sector participation

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