Coal and Mining Sector

[pib] Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021

Mains level: Not Much

The Ministry of Mines has notified the Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules (MCDR), 2021.

About the Amendment

  • The MCDR have been framed under section 18 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
  • It aims to provide rules regarding conservation of minerals, systematic and scientific mining, development of the mineral in the country and for the protection of environment.

Key highlights of the amendments:

Digital aerial imaging of the mines

  • Digital mapping: All plans and sections related to mine shall be prepared by combination of Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) or Total Station or by drone survey.
  • Drone Imaging: Lessees having annual excavation plans of 1 million tonne or more or having leased area of 50 hectare or more are required to submit drone survey images of leased area and up to 100 meters outside the lease boundary every year.
  • Satellite imaging: Other lessees submit high resolution satellite images obtained from CARTOSAT-2 satellite

This step will not only improve mine planning practices, security and safety in the mines but also ensure better supervision of mining operations.

Penalty Provisions

Penalty provisions in the rules have been rationalized. Amendment in the rules categorized the violations of the rules under the following major heads:

  • Major Violations: Penalty of imprisonment, fine or both.
  • Minor Violations: Penalty reduced. Penalty of only fine for such violations prescribed.
  • Decriminalization of Rules: Violation of other rules has been decriminalized. These rules did not cast any significant obligation on the concession holder or any other person

Financial Assurance

  • Amount of financial assurance increased to five lakh rupees for Category ‘A’ mines and three lakh rupees for Category ‘B’ mines from existing three and two lakh rupees, respectively.
  • Provision of forfeiture of financial assurance or performance security of the lease holder added in case of non-submission of final mine closure plan within the period specified.

Employment Opportunity

  • Allowed engagement of a part-time mining engineer or a part-time geologist for small mines which will ease compliance burden for small miners.
  • Diploma in mining and mine surveying is added in qualification for full-time Mining Engineer.


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