31 mineral blocks to be put up for auction soon

Raipur, July 4 (IANS) A total of 31 mineral blocks will be put up for auction soon, following the successful auction of seven such mines, the Central government said on Monday.

“Another 31 blocks will be auctioned soon,” Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said while addressing the first National Conclave on Mines and Minerals here.

“Already seven mineral blocks have been successfully auctioned out of a total of 55 that were notified for auctions. These have already raised more than Rs 13,000 crore for the state governments over the course of the mine life,” he said.

Exhorting stakeholders to increase the share of mining in the country’s GDP from 2.4 per cent to 6 per cent, Tomar said that after a contraction in mining sector during 2012-13 and 2013-14, the ministry’s initiatives have helped in a 9 per cent growth in production of major and minor minerals.

Addressing the conclave, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said things will soon change for the mining sector worldwide challenged by low prices.

“The mining industry has been going through a phase of low prices, but the cycle would soon change. Industrialists must realise what they invest today will pay dividends to both the country and the state in the coming years,” he said.

On the occasion, Jaitley also inaugurated five pilot projects of the Chhattisgarh state government to be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY).

The PMKKKY scheme requires miners to contribute to the District Mineral Fund, which is then used to implement various developmental and welfare projects in mining affected areas.

Last, week the union cabinet approved The National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) paving the way for auction of 100 prospective mineral blocks, that have been identified by the Geological Survey of India for exploration.

It allows private mining companies to carry out regional and detailed exploration of mining blocks.

As per the NMEP, private companies carrying out detailed exploration would get a certain share in revenue in the mining operation from the successful bidder of the e-auction of the mineral block.



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