National Mineral Exploration Policy

The Government, to offer fillip to its strategy on exploration is contemplating of bring forth a comprehensive a National Mineral Exploration Policy, the draft of which has been approved by the Cabinet on 29.6.2016. The Policy is oriented towards providing a framework for fostering exploration activities by Private Sector companies and providing them the necessary impetus to participate in the exploration programme.

The salient features of draft national mineral exploration policy (NMEP) are as follows:

(i) The Government will make available precompetitive baseline geo-science data of the highest standards. The data would be regularly updated and bench-marked with that of other jurisdictions
(ii) The Government will create baseline geoscience data as a public good and fund the generation and dissemination of such data.
(iii) National Geoscience Repository will be set up by GSI which will collect all geoscientific baseline data and mineral exploration information generated by diverse exploration agencies and will make these available on a digital geospatial database.
(iv) GSI will undertake National Air-borne geophysical survey in mission mode.
(v) The Government proposes to establish a non-profit autonomous institution, called National Centre of Mineral Targeting (NCMT) which will be a collaborative effort of government industry and academic institutions.
(vi) The Government will launch special initiative to probe deep-seated/concealed mineral deposits in the country.
(vii) The Government's objective is to introduce attractive provisions so as to encourage & incentivise Private Sector participation in mineral exploration through revenue sharing models. GSI has already identified 100 blocks for mineral exploration and these could be utilised for implementation of the scheme.
(viii) Upgradation of chemical and ore beneficiation laboratories of the central agencies and State Governments.

Practice question:

1. Under the proposed policy which of the following government organisation will look after the beneficiation studies in mineral processing?

a) National Centre For Mineral Targeting

b) National Geoscience Data Repository

c) Geological Survey of India

d) Indian Bureau of Mines

Ans: d

Exp: Ore beneficiation studies and related mineralogical and chemical characterization of the ore/ gangue minerals is vital in assessing economic feasibility of mineralization. Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) is the principal agency for undertaking ore beneficiation studies. There are five major areas that need to be focused upon by IBM:
i. Identification of lean ores or waste of important technology metals and development of beneficiation mechanisms along with other labs and institutions.
ii. Identification of crucial apparatus/equipment that are dependent on imports. IBM needs to work on cost effective capital equipment development in the country.
iii. Energy efficiency studies in mineral processing.
iv. Water conservation and water recycling circuits in mineral processing.
v. Upgradation of existing processes to make them more environmental friendly.