New norms for renewal of mining leases

Majority of projects are grappling with the problem of raw material availability

Published: 05th October 2012 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th October 2012 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

In a bid to solve the raw material problems faced by the local industries, the State Government has decided to renew lease of captive mines of companies.

 Sources said a resolution to this effect got the approval of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The resolution stated that though the State Government had signed more than 50 MoUs for setting up steel plants and alumina refineries in the State, majority of these projects are grappling with the problem of raw material availability.

 Stating that mineral resources are finite and non-renewable, the resolution maintained that it has been stressing value addition for effective means for conserving them (mineral resources). “Hence, second and subsequent renewals cannot be claimed as a matter of right. There must be sufficient reasons to say that such renewal is in the interest of mineral development,” it said. To be eligible for renewal of mining lease, the resolution said an industry must be in existence at the time of authorisation of renewal of the lease.

Besides, the lessee must have properly prospected the mine to know its actual reserve by making reasonable investment in scientific prospecting and subsurface exploration to the geologically visualised depths of ore bottoming, it said.

 The lessee must also have taken definite visible steps for comprehensive environmental management for the area to reduce degradation and for reclamation and restoration of the lease area. The lessee must have complied with the relevant provisions of existing laws governing mining, including but not limited to Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMRD Act), 1957, Mines Act, 1952, Environment (Protection) Act, 1976, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, and rules framed thereunder, it said.

 Leases awaiting second and subsequent renewal but operating under the rule  24A (6) of Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, will also be covered under the policy decision and each of such cases would be reviewed and decided in a time frame.

 In such a case, as per the resolution, raising may be limited to captive consumption till a decision is taken for renewal of part or whole of the lease area depending upon reserve assessed as per special condition imposed by the Centre.

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