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Odisha to send views soon on Draft Rules on Mining Ordinance

The state government will soon send its comments on the recent Draft Rules issued by the Union mines ministry prescribing parameters for implementation of Mines and Minerals – (Development & Regulation) MMDR Amendment Ordinance 2015.

“We have asked for comments on the Draft Rules (on Mining Ordinance) from the directorate of mines. The directorate will prepare a list of expired, lapsed, surrendered and determined leases. The state government will submit its views to the Union mines ministry by February 15,” said an official at the steel & mines department. Under the Draft Rules, states will be empowered to notify lease areas for auctions. The auction process will cover surrendered, determined and lapsed leases apart from virgin deposits. On expiry of a mining lease, the state government would notify such area for auction.

Before notifying such areas, a detailed re-survey/re-evaluation study, prospecting and exploration of the area needs to be carried out by the state government or any other agency notified by the central government from time to time.

The survey would include among other things an assessment of all stockpiles, dumps and tailing lying within such area. Based on the survey, a feasibility report would be prepared by an agency notified by the central government to evaluate the technical and economic viability of the mineral deposit in the area.

The feasibility report would include data on both the mineral reserves and resources separately as the date could materially influence the economic value of the deposit.

The prospecting licence (PL) cum mining lease (ML) would be granted through a process of auction as may be specified for the purpose. The state government would notify areas for grant of PL cum ML which have been previously covered under general or preliminary exploration by any of the agencies of the central government or the state government.

Areas with small deposits where evidence of mineralisation is known through a systematic geological mapping but estimate of resources have not been made can also be notified provided the state government in consultation with the central government may relax the exploration norms. The ministry has invited comments from all state governments, mining industry, industry associations and other stakeholders on the Rules by February 17.

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