BHUBANESWAR: The Centre has proposed further amendment in the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 to facilitate identification of more mineral blocks for grant of composite license through auction.
The additional amendments are proposed in the two rules to enable any person intending to participate in the auction to propose suitable blocks where mineral potentiality has been identified based on the available geoscience data.
The Ministry of Mines has proposed to constitute a committee to assess the mineral potential of the blocks proposed or otherwise identified by the state governments.
The amendment rules circulated to all the states said that incentives will be provided to such persons in case the blocks proposed by them are notified for auction.
These endeavours would encourage participation of more persons in auction and promote competition, said a notice issued by the Mines Ministry.
The Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 was amended in June, 2021, to provide for auction to grant a composite licence in respect of areas where at least reconnaissance survey (G4) level has been completed or where mineral potentiality of the block has been identified based on the available geoscience data but resources are yet to be established.
These amendments were aimed at identifying more mineral blocks for auction and increasing the pace of exploration and production resulting in improving the availability of minerals in the country.
Similarly, the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 were amended to prescribe bid security, performance security and other eligibility conditions to enable auction of such blocks for composite licence.
The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has also made available the database of baseline geoscience data for geological potential areas in its Online Core Business Integrated System (OCBIS) portal for assistance of prospective bidders and other stakeholders.
The Ministry has invited comments and suggestions from public, State governments, mining industry, industries associations and other stakeholders as part of the pre-legislative consultation on the draft amendments.