Home / Companies / News /  Minister Pralhad Joshi to address national conclave on mines and minerals
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NEW DELHI: Pralhad Joshi, the Union minister for coal, mines and parliamentary affairs, will address the national conclave on mines and minerals on 23 November.

“The 5th national conclave on Mines and Minerals will have many significant segments that will encourage exploration activities, auction regime and sustainable mining practices in the country. Award ceremony for 5-star rated mines for note-worthy performance will be another highlight of the one day conclave," mines ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

India's National Mineral Policy aims to increase mineral production by 200% over seven years. Of India’s obvious geological potential area of 0.571 million sq. km, only 10% has been explored so far.

“Ministry of Mines introduced the concept of National Mining Conclave in 2016 in order to provide the right platform for meaningful interaction among all stakeholders like Central Government officers who are policy makers, state government officers, the real executors in the auction regime, industrial sector and the industry associations," the statement added.

The Centre is exploring amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act to bring in more reforms in India’s mining sector. The government had earlier introduced a raft of reforms, including doing away with the distinction between captive and non-captive mines, reallocation of non-producing blocks of state-owned firms, and had amended some sections of the MMDR Act to help auction more mines.

“The Ministry of Mines had launched the scheme of ‘Star Rating of Mines’ for awarding the mining lease owners in 2016 for their efforts and initiatives for implementation of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF). One to five Stars are awarded to mines based on the provisions stipulated, with the best performing leases being given 5 Stars. The mining lease holders with 5-star rating for the last three years will be felicitated in the conclave to encourage sustainable mining," the statement said.

This assumes significance given that the mineral sector contributes only 1.75% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with India importing minerals worth a massive 2.5 trillion in a year. The union mines ministry has also adopted a scheme for accreditation of private exploration agencies for prospecting minerals.

"Further, 52 potential mineral blocks carved out of G4 stage mineral investigations will be handed over to the state governments during the conclave. The blocks are located across fifteen states including two blocks of North Eastern (NER) states, six of Chattisgarh, eight blocks in Madhya Pradesh and six blocks in Maharashtra. These comprise many minerals and deposits for supporting various industries such as 8 limestone blocks, 8 gold blocks, 8 iron ore blocks among other minerals. Auctioning of these blocks, along with the 100 blocks recently handed over in September this year will further strengthen the mineral economy of the country," the statement said.

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