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Centre allows 13 private companies for mineral exploration

Centre allows 13 private companies for mineral exploration

Centre allows 13 private companies for mineral exploration
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By Nishtha Pandey  Nov 8, 2022 6:10:55 PM IST (Published)

By including more agencies in the exploration of minerals, the Mines Ministry's privatisation plan aims to maximise the economic potential of the mining industry and open up new job opportunities.

On Tuesday, the Mines Ministry announced that 13 private agencies have been accredited to conduct mineral exploration.

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“With the amendment of Mines & Minerals (Development & Regulation) MMDR Act in 2021, private agencies can also participate in exploration for mineral sector after getting duly accredited by QCI-NABET (National Accreditation Board for Education and Training of the Quality Council of India). So far, 13 private agencies have been accredited and subsequently notified by the Central Government," the ministry said in a statement on November 8.


With this, currently there are 22 government organisations actively involved in mineral prospecting, according to the statement.

Through support from the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Limited (MECL) is conducting mineral exploration activities. In addition to current exploration efforts, MECL offers the state Department of Mines and Geology (DMGs) and Directorate of Geology and Mining (DGMs) consulting services for the preparation of reports and other papers for actionable blocks.

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957 was amended in August 2021, giving the central government the authority to alert organisations — including private organisations — to conduct prospecting operations.

“The Ministry of Mines has adopted the scheme for accreditation of private exploration agencies developed by the National Accreditation Board for Education and Training of the Quality Council of India (QCI-NABET)," an official order reads.

The QCI-NABET will grant accreditation to private exploration agencies to undertake prospecting operations of minerals in accordance with the standards and procedures of the scheme, it added.

“The interested private exploration agencies shall be required to obtain accreditation in accordance with the scheme and thereafter apply to the ministry for their notification under the second proviso to sub-Section (1) of Section 4 of the Act," the Mines Ministry said.

By including more agencies in the exploration of minerals, this plan is aimed at maximising the economic potential of the mining industry. It was expected that this would speed up exploration, open up new job opportunities in the industry, and increase the number of explored blocks available for auction.

On Tuesday, the mines ministry announced that 13 private exploration agencies had been accredited to conduct mineral prospecting.
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