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Govt working to ensure 100 per cent exploration of India’s geological potential in Amrit Kaal: Mines Secretary

Mar 22, 2024

Aspirational goal of underground mining will need more technological interventions



NEW DELHI, 22 March 2024: Mr VL Kantha Rao, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Govt of India today while highlighting the goals for the next 25 years, under the Amrit Kaal said that the government is working on 4 key areas to improve the Indian mining sector which include regulatory frameworks, administrative, R&D and technology along with aspirational goals.


Addressing the summit on ‘Indian Mining Industry’, organized by FICCI, jointly with the Ministry of Mines, Govt of India, Mr Rao said that we (government) are working to ensure that 100 per cent exploration of our geological potential of the country is done in the journey towards Amrit Kaal. “We want to ensure that the entire country’s geology is explored both on-shore and off-shore, which currently is around 30 per cent,” he emphasized.


Mr Rao further stated that the government also has an aspirational goal on underground mining which will require more technological interventions. “We also have a target to ensure that underground mining increases in the country as a percentage of overall mining,” he added.


Speaking on the targets set by the Ministry, Mr Rao stated that the government is looking at setting targets on offshore mining which will be started this year. “We also have goals on critical minerals under which 2 rounds of auction process is going on and will get the results in next 10 days,” he noted. Mr Rao added that the government has established a National Geoscience Data Repository (NGDR) portal for industry to take advantage of the data. The ministry has now started promoting and funding start-ups in the area of critical mineral related technology development, he stated.


Highlighting the recent regulatory change announced by the government on exploration licenses, the Secretary said that it is a regime where auction activities will be auctioned. “The auction is only for exploration and 12 blocks are under auction by 6 states (Chhattisgarh, MP, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh). These regulatory changes are bringing new opportunities for the sector,” he added.


Mr Rao also stated that illegal mining is an area where the states have a big role to play, and the central government is extending all possible support in this regard. “A lot of Ease of Doing Business initiatives are being announced by the government including decriminalization, simplification of procedures, online mining reporting, etc. and the government is open to suggestions to improve the sector,” he noted.


Mr Subhash Chandra, Additional DG Forests and CEO, National Authority, CAMPA said that to have a sustainable economy, focus needs to be on resource efficiency i.e. reducing burden on nature by ensuring that resources remain in use for a long time. The Indian mining industry is adopting latest technologies to mark its transition towards being sustainable, but climate change is posing serious threats, necessitating the need for adopting latest technologies and practices.


Mr Tuhin Mukherjee, Mentor, FICCI Mining Committee and Advisor, Mineral Resources & Mining, Aditya Birla Group said that we need to focus on how we chalk out the roadmap for the Amrit Kaal journey of the mining industry. Three critical areas for mining are – robust fiscal policy, microeconomic management and environmental & social framework.


Mr Amitava Mukherjee, Chair, FICCI Mining Committee and CMD (Additional Charge), NMDC Ltd said that as we navigate through the critical times for the mining industry, today’s event with focus on enhancing mineral exploration & production and operations digitization along with decarbonization, resonates deeply with the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as we transit towards Viksit Bharat.


FICCI-Deloitte report ‘Indian Mining Industry: The Amrit Kaal Journey’, was released during the event.

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