The government on Thursday said that amendment in mineral auction rules will encourage competition that will ensure more participation in sale of blocks.
The Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021, and the Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021 to amend the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 (MEMC Rules) and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 (Auction Rules), respectively, the mines ministry said in a statement.
The amendment rules have been framed after extensive consultations with the states, industry associations, miners, other stakeholders and general public.
Amendment in the MEMC Rules 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, the ministry said.
A committee constituted by any state will assess the mineral potentiality of the blocks so proposed and recommend the mine for auction, it said.
Further, amendment in the ‘Auction Rules’ 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, the statement said.
“These amendments would encourage more participation in auction and promote competition,” the ministry said.
This will facilitate state governments in identifying more blocks for auction of composite licence.
The Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 have been recently amended in June, 2021, inter alia, to provide for auction to grant a composite licence in respect of areas where at least Reconnaissance Survey (G4) level has been completed or where mineral potentiality of the block has been identified based on the available geoscience data but resources are yet to be established, the government said.
These amendments were aimed at identifying more mineral blocks for auction and thereby increasing pace of exploration and production resulting in improving the availability of minerals in the country and increase employment in the sector, it added.
Simultaneously, the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 were amended, inter alia, to prescribe bid security, performance security and other eligibility conditions to enable auction of such blocks for composite licence, as per the statement.
The present amendment in the rules will supplement the recent policy reforms taken in the mineral sector and facilitate auction of more blocks, thereby increasing production and mineral supply in the country, the statement said.