What is Star rating system for mines?

  1. It rates mines out of five stars
  2. A two-layered system: First a self-evaluation by the mine operator & then validated by the Indian Bureau of Mines under the Ministry of Mines
  3. Objective: To bring all mines to minimum 4- or 5-star rating in the shortest possible time
  4. Parameters: Efforts taken to mitigate environmental impact of the mines and to resettle and rehabilitate the people affected and the adoption of international standards for mining operations and reporting
  5. There will be random third-party checks to see whether the information provided by the operators is correct, and there should be penalties for those providing false information

Centre unveils Internet portal for online tracking of mines

  1. News: The Ministry of Mines unveiled a web portal for the easy access to information regarding the mining sector in India, including a framework for rating mines
  2. Star ratings: The Ministry, through the Indian Bureau of Mines, has developed a template for the star rating of mines
  3. Web portal: Will have all the ratings of the mines and will also have information of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for the mining sector

Days of coal shortage over: Union Secretary

  1. News: The increase in the production of coal has led to 15% reduction in the imports
  2. The govt. has done necessary ground work for auctioning of coal mines for private commercial mining
  3. Future: Coal India is now looking forward to 1-billion-tonne production by 2019-20, with a projected demand of around 1,200 million tonnes

Union Budget 2016-17: Coal cess doubled

  1. News: Finance Minister increased the cess on coal production from Rs 200 per tonne to Rs 400 per tonne
  2. The Clean Energy Cess would be renamed as Clean Environment Cess
  3. Background: In 2010, it was introduced as Rs 50 per tonne and this was the third time the cess was doubled
  4. Statistics: India produces coal about 600 million tonnes a year and imports about 150 million tonnes every year to meet its demand
  5. Impact: Along with domestically produced coal, the cess also applies to imported coal

‘Uncover’ project of the Geological Survey of India

  1. Context: state-of-the-art project to be implemented in 2 selected areas in the country is focused on probing for deep seated/ concealed mineral deposits
  2. Relevance: This programme is also one of the important action points of the draft National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP)
  3. Main components:
  • Characterizing India’s geological cover
  • Investigating lithospheric architecture
  • Resolving 4D geodynamic and metallogenic evolution
  • Detecting and characterizing the distal footprints of ore deposits

Coal linkages to steel, aluminium, cement sectors only via auction

Move for transparency & level-playing field; follows SC declaring allocation of 204 coal mines/blocks as illegal due to arbitrary procedure.

  1. This was decided by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) which met under Prime Minister Modi
  2. The auction ensures all market participants have a fair chance to secure the coal linkage, irrespective of their size
  3. It attempts to ensure an optimal allocation of coal across user industries and geographies
  4. The cabinet allowed the railways ministry to form joint venture (JV) companies with the state governments
  5. To mobilize resources for undertaking various rail infrastructure projects in states

Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (Amendment) Bill, 2016

The new law will allow companies that received mining licences without having gone through the auction process to transfer these leases.

  1. The 2015 law allowed transfer of mines allotted through auctions but was silent on captive mining licences allotted in the past on the basis of recommendations by a screening committee.
  2. It will make M&As easier in the steel cement, and metals sectors.
  3. It gives acquirers raw material security and scope for its optimal use in end-use plants in the cement, steel and aluminium sectors.
  4. It will also help banks liquidate such licences if they have been mortgaged to it..

Govt to amend mining law

The govt will amend the mining law in order to facilitate transfer of mines allotted for captive use to end-user industries.

  1. It seeks to unlock thousands of crore worth of investments stuck in debt-laden minerals and commodities sector.
  2. It will also allow mergers and acquisitions of companies and facilitate ease of doing business for companies.
  3. Thid will improve profitability and decrease costs of the companies dependent on supply of mineral ore from captive leases.

Let’s know about Mines and Minerals Act 2015

  1. The Act was made to ensure transparent auctions of minerals and
    revolutionary change in the sector.
  2. The mining sector in India has been mired in controversy over the illegal allocation of resources.
  3. Earlier MMDR Act, 1957 regulated the mining sector in India and specified the requirement for obtaining and granting mining leases for mining operations.
  4. The 2015 law included bauxite, iron ore, limestone and manganese ore as notified minerals.
  5. The Bill provides for the creation of a District Mineral Foundation and a National Mineral Exploration Trust.

Govt. to amend ‘deal-breaker’ mining law in Budget session

The govt is planning to amend a law which is holding up mergers and acquisitions in the distressed commodities and mining sector.

  1. The current law is holding up mergers and acquisitions worth thousands of crore.
  2. The deals are stuck in a no-go zone due to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 2015.
  3. The act doesn’t allow transfer of captive mines allotted to end-user plants in the past.
  4. Govt. will amend this act because there is no alternative method to allow such acquisitions of captive mineral assets in the present law.

:( We are working on most probable questions. Do check back this section.

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