The Union Minister of Steel & Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar today released Report on Identification of 100 Mineral Exploration Blocks and launched ‘Uncover’ project of the Geological Survey of India in New Delhi today. He formally inaugurated the 55th Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting of Geological Survey of India, Ministry of Mines at A.P. Shinde Symposium Hall, Indian Council for Agricultural Research, NASC Complex, Pusa in New Delhi today.
The Ministry of Mines has finalized a draft National Mineral Exploration Policy [NMEP] which has outlined a slew of measures for accelerating mineral exploration in the country. One of the important features in NMEP is attractive provisions for private investment in the exploration sector.
The NMEP proposes that private entities would be engaged to carry out regional and detailed exploration work with the right to a certain share in the revenue (by way of royalty/ premium to be accruing to state government) from mining operation from the successful bidder after e-auction of mineral block discovered by that private explorer. The revenue sharing could be either in the form of a lump sum or an annuity, to be paid throughout the period of mining lease period, with transferable rights. Selection of private explorer is proposed to be done through a transparent process of competitive bidding through e-auction. For this, reasonable areas/ blocks for regional exploration will be earmarked/ identified by the Government for auctioning.
In this connection, Geological Survey of India [GSI] has identified 100 such blocks which may be taken up by the private explorers for regional exploration. The Minister of Steel and Mines Shri Narendra Singh Tomar released the document in six volumes detailing these blocks. The Ministry of Mines will take further action in this regard. The identified blocks includes total area of about 12,000 sq. km with prospects for minerals such as, basemetal, gold, iron, tin/tungsten, strategic minerals etc.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Shri Narendra Singh Tomar also launched the ‘Uncover’ project of GSI. This state-of-the-art project to be implemented in two selected areas in the country is focused on probing for deep seated/ concealed mineral deposits. This programme is also one of the important action points of the draft NMEP. Characterizing India’s geological cover, investigating lithospheric architecture, resolving 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution, and detecting and characterizing the distal footprints of ore deposits, would be the main components of this initiative.