Centre to publish rating report for mines by Dec 15

Kolkata, Nov 16 (IANS) The central government will publish country’s first rating report for mines in the first fortnight of December, a top official said on Wednesday.

The star rating system for the operating mines was in operation.

“The first rating report for mines will be published by December 15,” Ministry of Mines’ Secretary Balvinder Kumar said at the 13th Global Mining Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Following the amendment of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR), the government facilitated 17 auctions of 55 leases in nine states fetching it Rs 70,000 crore.

“Another Rs 47,000 crore is likely to be fetched from auctions in the near future,” Kumar said.

The District Mineral Fund, already constituted in 234 mineral producing districts of the country, has collected Rs 3,500 crore from miners for development of the tribals in the districts.

He also said, “By 2017 April, an aerial survey on potential mineral blocks covering two lakh square kilometres of land would be over. This would be of G3 level of exploration data.”

He said overall mineral production growth stood at 9 per cent in 2015-16. “This year, we are expecting a 15 per cent growth in iron ore output,” Kumar said.

Iron ore production in the April-September period of 2016-17 was at 84 million tonnes, which is 25.65 per cent higher from 66.85 million tonnes in the same period last year, Kumar said.

The country’s iron ore exports during April-August of 2016-17 stood at 7.5 million tonnes, which is higher than total exports of 2015-16 at 5.45 million tonnes.

Similarly, iron ore imports during April-August period of 2016-17 stood at 1.59 million tonnes as against 7.09 million tonnes in the entire 2015-16 fiscal.

The country has also seen rise in chromite and limestone production, the mining secretary added.