Indias new mining policy draft ready – official

Indias new mining policy draft ready – official

A draft new mining policy, which is expected to open up India’s largely untapped mineral deposits, is ready and awaits cabinet approval, a senior government official said on Tuesday.

Only 10 percent of India’s land mass has been explored for its mineral wealth, and industry officials say this is due to lengthy paperwork and bureaucratic delays.

India is estimated to have 2.92 billion tonnes of bauxite, the raw material for aluminium, or some 10 percent of the world’s reserves. It is also estimated to have 23 billion tonnes of iron ore deposits and 276 billion tonnes of coal.

Last July, a government committee recommended changes to make it easier to grant permits for surveying, prospecting and leasing of mines.

Some modifications have been made in the draft policy to the suggestions made by the government committee, the official said, but declined to give details.

He said the cabinet was yet to set a date for approving the draft, which was drawn up in consultation with state governments. After the cabinet approves the policy, it would be presented to parliament for making it into law.

The government is also trying to assess the country’s reserves of low grade iron ore, of which there is no accurate data.

Officials also believe the country has extensive reserves of base metals such as copper, zinc and lead.

Source: Reuters

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