Amendments in Minerals Rules

Amendments in Minerals Rules

News: Recently, the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021 and the Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021 have been notified.These two rules will amend the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 [MEMC Rules] and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 [Auction Rules], respectively.Earlier, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha both cleared the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Amendment Bill, 2021.

Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021:
• It will enable any person (who is intending to participate in auction) to propose suitable blocks for auction for composite licence where mineral potentiality of the blocks has been identified based on the available geoscience data.A committee constituted by the State Government shall assess the mineral potentiality of the blocks so proposed and recommend the block for auction.

Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021:
• It would provide that in case the blocks proposed by any person are notified for auction, the said person would be provided incentive of depositing only half of the bid security amount in auction of the blocks proposed by him.Part surrender of mining lease area has been allowed in all cases.
• Till now, part surrender was allowed only in case of non-grant of forest clearance.
• Provisions have also been added to allow disposal of overburden/ waste rock/ mineral below the threshold value, which is generated during the course of mining or beneficiation of the mineral.
• Minimum area for grant of mining lease has been revised from 5 ha. (hectares) to 4 ha. For certain specific deposits, minimum 2 ha. is provided.

Significance:
• It aims to identify more mineral blocks for auction and thereby increase the pace of exploration and production resulting in improving the availability of minerals in the country,
• It will encourage more participation in auctions and promote competition.
• It will facilitate State governments in identifying more blocks for auction of composite licence. 

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