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Govt fixes Apr 1,2019 as exploration deadline for 288 merchant mines leases


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The government today said the deadline has been fixed at April 1, 2019 for general exploration of 288 merchant mining leases that are expiring on March 31, 2020.
The development follows amendment to the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017.
"The lease period of merchant miners extended under the ... MMDR Act, would expire on March, 31 2020. There are about 288 mining leases which would expire in 2020, of which 59 are working leases, which give substantial production of key minerals viz. iron ore, manganese and chromite ore etc," the Ministry of Mines said in a statement.
It said the auction process needs to be initiated well in advance to ensure a seamless transition from the existing to the new lessees so that mineral production is not affected due to expiry of these leases.
Earlier, the central government had issued a directive which mentioned that all the existing leases have to be brought to an exploration level of G2 (general exploration) or G1 (detailed exploration) in five years' time.
The government said a new rule has been inserted in the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017 (MCDR) by way of an amendment notification, published in Gazette on March 27.
"The rule mandates exploration in G2 level ... to be carried out in the mining leases expiring in 2020 by April 1, 2019. The rule also lays down the timelines for implementation of the exploration plan prepared with the approval of IBM (Indian Bureau of Mines) for satisfying the requirements," the statement said.

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First Published: Mar 28 2018 | 10:40 PM IST

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