Help Desk -
9717405332, 9599714297, 9810335381

Only 2 Indian states submit action plans to Center

Mining News - Published on Tue, 13 Mar 2018

Image Source:
Indian Express reported that central government has been asking the states since August 31 last year to submit their action plans for auctioning leases of 348 non-captive mines, which are going to expire in 2020. However, even after repeated reminders, only two states Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan have submitted their action plans till February 22 this year.

A senior government official said that “We have been asking the states to send their action plans so that the exploration and subsequent auction process is concluded on time across the country and industry does not face any issues. However, we have received action plans of only two states Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan by February 22.”

On November 24, 2017, Mr Arun Kumar, the then Union mines secretary, wrote a letter to all mineral-rich states, wherein he requested them to submit their action plans by December 9, 2017. Mr Kumar added that “Though the leases expire on March 31, 2020, it would be appropriate for the states to start auction of the (348) mines by July 1, 2019. This will give successful bidders time to mobilise as well as time to obtain various clearances before commencing mining operations. It is therefore of utmost importance that an action plan for auctioning these expiring leases is prepared at the earliest.”

Mr Kumar stated that the action plan would require “finalization of exploration proposals, exploration within the lease hold area by the lessee, identification of the agency for exploration outside of lease area if required, finalization of geological reports and carrying out auction of the mines”. Before the November 24 letter, the Ministry of Mines had sent letters to mineral-rich states on August 31, 2017 and October 9, 2017, asking them to submit the action plans.

The Rajasthan government, which submitted its action plan on January 16 this year, told the Union mines ministry that mining leases of the following four mines will expire by 2020: a limestone mine in Sikar; an iron ore mine in Jaipur; a Kyanite & Pyrophylite mine in Udaipur; and a Garnet mine in Tonk. For the Udaipur mine, the state government stated: “The area falls in Aravalli hill range, thus there is no need to take up further detailed exploration, as mining lease will not be granted in the Aravalli region.”

Regarding Garnet mine in Tonk, the Rajasthan government similarly rejected the idea of detailed exploration. It stated that “Production of the Garnet in the lease area is nil. The area was visited and found that no economic viable resource of Garnet is available in the ML area. Thus, the area does not warrants further detailed exploration.”

Regarding Sikar’s limestone mine, the state government stated that its mines department “has limited resource of drilling rigs and laboratory facilities” and therefore, for carrying detailed exploration, it needs approximately INR 1 crore, which “may be made available from NMET or from any other fund”. The NMET operates under the Ministry of Mines. On Jaipur’s iron ore mine, it stated that the Geological Survey of India has already carried out the detailed exploration and it has found that there may be iron ore reserves available in depth. It added that “Exploration report of GSI is being procured and after review of this report, a road map will be prepared to complete the gap of exploration if required.”

The Andhra Pradesh government submitted its action plan on December 19, 2017. It has stated that total nine mines four limestone, three manganese, two iron ore are going to be expired on March 31, 2020. It stated that apart from one limestone mine that has only G3 level of exploration, all other eight mines have got G2 exploration done. G1 is the highest level of exploration in India.

In its action plan, the state government stated that it would start exploration operation by February 2018, and in the next seven months, it will demarcate the area using ‘total station’ or Differential Global Positioning System. It stated that by August 2018, it will prepare the Geological Reports in auctionable format as per Minerals Rules, 2015. It plans to prepare the tender document for auction of aforementioned nine mines by October 2018.

As per the new mining law the Mines and Minerals Amendment Act, 2015 which came into effect from January 2015, the non-coal mines have to be auctioned by the respective state governments. Under the old mining law, the states had the powers to grant the mining lease to any company as per their discretion.

The 2015 mining law clearly states that if a company has already got the ML of a non-coal block for captive purposes, it can continue to mine it till the lease period ends. Once it ends, such a company will have the first right of refusal. Moreover, the law stated that if a company has the ML of a block for non-captive purposes, the company can keep the mine till 2020 or till the lease period ends, whichever is later. According to Union mines ministry, MLs of 348 non-coal blocks will expire on March 31, 2020, and they will have to be auctioned by states.

Source :

Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 13 Mar 2018
Related News from Mining segment