Home/ News / India/  Govt extends funding to private exploration agencies: official

New Delhi: The central government has initiated efforts to support private exploration agencies by providing funding for their projects, said Sanjay Lohia, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Mines. He made the announcement during the India Steel Summit organized by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in Mumbai.

 “We have taken the initiative to notify private exploration agencies, and 14 agencies have been notified so far. They have already submitted many projects for funding," said Lohia. He emphasized the government’s readiness to finance further exploration in areas with untapped potential that have not been explored by state governments or the Geological Survey of India.

Lohia also highlighted the importance of coordination between private exploration agencies and the industry, suggesting that ASSOCHAM could facilitate this coordination by inviting the agencies to become members of the organization.

State governments have already started adopting auctioning at the composite license level and have been experiencing success in obtaining good premiums. Lohia noted that this approach adds another two years to the process, providing an advantage for the industry.

Regarding policy reforms in the mining sector, Lohia mentioned the introduction of mine allocation auctions, which have gained momentum in recent years. He reassured attendees that the high premiums currently being quoted will be resolved as more mines are developed.

Coking coal, a significant cost component in steel production, was also addressed during the summit. Lohia highlighted the Ministry of Coal’s efforts to improve the availability of coking coal, with several commercial coal blocks coming up for auction. He emphasized the government’s willingness to help steel companies acquire coal mines abroad and make amendments that facilitate investment in securing coking coal mines.

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Updated: 25 May 2023, 07:08 PM IST
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