Vedanta wins India's first gold mine auction
Chhattisgarh auctioned its first gold mine in India with Vedanta Private Limited quoting the highest bid. It is the first gold mine auctioned in the country for the grant of a composite license since enforcement of new amendments in the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 2015. The mine is expected to earn Rs.81.40cr to Chhattisgarh with an added royalty of Rs.24.70cr.
Rajya Sabha passes Mines and Minerals Bill
The Rajya Sabha gave assent to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015, (MMDRA) Bill 2015 ushering in new guidelines and norms for mining in India. The entire House, barring the Left and the Congress, voted in favour of the bill. Opposition parties alleged that the new bill infringes upon states' authority in granting and overseeing mining licenses.
What will be its immediate effects?
A new category of mining license i.e. the prospecting license-cum-mining lease, which will allow both prospecting and mining under the same lease would be introduced. The Central Government would be empowered to extend the area limits of mining, instead of providing multiple mining leases. The duration of mining leases would be extended by 20 years, except for coal, lignite and atomic minerals.
New National Mineral Exploration policy to be unveiled
In November 2015, the government unveiled the new National Mineral Exploration Policy which was to come into effect by January 2016. The new policy aimed to ease rules for mining exploration and also allow entry of foreign and private players in mining exploration.
India to auction gold mines
India was planning to auction at least three gold mines in 2016, a top government official said, opening up the sector to private-firms for the first time. The move is slated to be an attempt to reduce the country's dependence on gold imports. Mines secretary Balvinder Kumar said several local and multinational companies had shown interest in the mines, but declined to identify them.
Shree Cement wins first non-coal mining auction
Shree Cement won the first-ever non-coal mining lease through the auction route, by offering to pay the Chhattisgarh government around Rs.284 for every tonne of limestone production from the Karhi Chandi mine. Mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar congratulated the state for the success of the mining lease auction, done for the first time in the country. A total of 192 bids were submitted.
Chattisgarh to conduct India's first gold mine auction
The Chhattisgarh government would conduct the first auction of a gold mine under the amended Mines and Minerals Act 2015. Out of the 46 mineral blocks put up for auction, states conducted successful auction of four limestone blocks from which the government expects to garner Rs.6,700 crore. The Jharkand government has also put up a gold mine for auction under the act.