Thursday, July 21, 2016

The National Mineral Exploration Policy -2016 (Non Coal and Non Fuel Minerals)

               The Government of India has recently launched the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) for Non Coal and Non Fuel minerals. The NMEP spells out the strategy and outlines the action plan of the government to ensure systematic, state of the art  comprehensive exploration of Indias mineral resources.

               The NMEP also proposes to involve private sector  participation for unraveling new mineral deposits through state of the art technology.  The government proposes to facilitate and incentivize private sector participation in Mineral Exploration so that the technical expertise ,technological capability and financial resources of the private sector can be gainfully utilized in the discovery and exploitation of mineral resources.

              NMEP envisages providing of free geo-scientific data on geology ,geochemistry and geophysics to the public by the government thereby creating a platform for private sector government collaboration for the discovery of new mineral deposits which can be put up for auction..

              Since all our near surface deposits have been explored and are already under exploitation, one of the major thrust areas of the NMEP would be to attract global participation to discover concealed and deep seated  mineral deposits of diamond ,gold, PGE, Nickel etc (300 to 1000m)  having  no surface manifestations and requiring specialized knowledge and state of the art technology. For this purpose the government also proposes to set up the National Centre for Mineral Targeting on Public Private Partnership to focus on optimizing mineral exploration efforts of the public and private sector
           The Government will develop model contracting procedures and standard agreement templates for State Govts to engage private sector expertise. Govt will keep provision for mitigating risks of the private companies in carrying out mineral exploration by working normative cost of exploration works for different minerals so that exploration companies could be compensated in case they do not discover any mineable reserves.

              The NMEP is a positive step on the part of the Government to encourage and involve private sector participation  to discover mineral deposits. Effective and whole hearted implementation will be the key to its success or otherwise it will remain just another policy of the government.