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The Ministry of Coal and the Ministry of Mines jointly held the Investors’ conclave on commercial coal mines auction and opportunities in mining sector on 3 December, 2022 in Bengaluru.

The high-level meet was chaired by coal minister Pralhad Joshi and attended by Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai, minister of state for coal, mines and railways, Raosaheb Patil Danve, minister of Mines & Geology Halappa Basappa Achar and minister of Energy for Karnataka Vasudev Sunil Kumar, coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena and mines secretary Vivek Bhardwaj.

Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi emphasised on the importance of coal in securing energy security for the future of the country. He also assured the investors that the future outlook of the coal is positive, and the ministry is undertaking various reforms for ease of doing business in the coal sector.

The minister stated that the current contribution of the mining sector in the country’s GDP is 0.9% and submitted that the PM Narendra Modi has the vision to enhance this contribution to 2.5% by 2030 indicating that there is a huge potential in the mining sector and the investors are invited to participate in this opportunity.

Union Minister Joshi also stated that the government has made several reforms in mineral sector such as removing the distinction between captive and non-captive mines, transfer of clearances of the previous lessee to the successful bidder, etc.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Somappa Bommai pointed out the importance of sustainable mining for maintaining balanced eco system and better future of the country. He stated that as per the Indian belief, whole cosmos is made of 5 elements. We are also made of these 5 elements. Future of mankind is dependent on how best we utilise these elements. Mother Earth is one of the elements which also gives us rich mineral resources. We are required to achieve sustainable mining. We have to adopt best mining culture to bring productivity and sustainability.

He emphasised that sustainable production of minerals will meet the various needs of many sectors and fulfil the vision of the Prime Minister. He stressed that Karnataka has high quality iron ore and the State is guided by the Supreme Court and NGT guidelines in allocation and mining of iron ore mines. Karnataka is expected to be largest manufacturer of Steel in the Country and it will be fuelled by the high grade iron ore mines of the State.

He added that the country needs to explore adoption of best technology in the sector. The State also has rich reserves of tungsten, nickel, cobalt and gold which are in huge demand.

According to the Ministry of Mines, the reforms brought in minerals sector in March 2021, the pace of exploration has increased. Since reforms brought in March 2021, 108 mineral blocks have been auctioned as compared to 108 blocks auctioned in 6 years from 2015 to 2021.

Further, auction of 70 blocks is under process in the country. Further, GSI has handed over more than 200 explored blocks to State Governments for auction. As such, more than 400 blocks are ready for auction in the country.

Ministry of Coal has till date concluded five tranches of commercial coal mines auction wherein Ministry has successfully allocated 64 coal mines. It has launched the sixth tranche of commercial coal mine auction on 3 November, 2022, wherein 141 coal mines are put on for offer including 8 coal mines under 2nd attempt of 5th tranche. This is the largest ever coal block auction till date launched in the country.

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