The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP).
The NMEP primarily aims at accelerating the exploration activity in the country through enhanced participation of the private sector.
MAIN FEATURES OF POLICY:-
The Ministry of Mines will carry out auctioning of identified exploration blocks for exploration by private sector on revenue sharing basis in case their exploration leads to auctionable resources. The revenue will be borne by the successful bidder of those auctionable blocks.
If the explorer agencies do not discover any auctionable resources, their exploration expenditure will be reimbursed on normative cost basis.
Creation of baseline geoscientific data as a public good for open dissemination free of charge.
Government will carry out a National Aerogeophysical Program for acquiring state-of-the-art baseline data for targeting concealed mineral deposits.
A National Geoscientific Data Repository is proposed to be set up to collate all baseline and mineral exploration information generated by various central & state government agencies and also mineral concession holders and to maintain these on geospatial database.
Government proposes to establish a not-for-profit autonomous institution that will be known as the National Centre for Mineral Targeting (NCMT) in collaboration with scientific and research bodies, universities and industry for scientific and technological research to address the mineral exploration challenges in the country.
Provisions for inviting private investment in exploration through attractive revenue sharing models.
On the lines of UNCOVER project of Australia, the government intends to launch a special initiative to probe deep-seated/ concealed minerals deposits in the country in collaboration with National Geophysical Research Institute and the proposed NCMT and Geoscience Australia.
In order to implement the recommendations of the NMEP, initially an amount of about Rs.2116 crore over 5 years would be required over and above the annual plan budget of the Geological Survey of India under the Ministry of Mines. The NMEP will benefit the entire mineral sector across the country.