Subscribe to Your Industry News

Your News Headlines

Your Industry News
Your Communication News
Your Defence News
Your Metal News
Your Mining News
Your Nuclear News
Your Oil & Gas News
Your Petrochemical News
Your Project News
Your Renewable News
Your Ship Building News
Your Subsea News

Your Regional News

North America
South America
Middle East

posted in:

  • Home>
  • Mining News,
  • >
  • Asia,
  • >
  • 50% mining permits turn hollow promises

50% mining permits turn hollow promises

Thursday, Dec 11, 2020

The Indian mining sector continues its poor run with over 60% of exploration activities yielding no promise for commercial mining of metals and minerals. Failures have not only been reported by Indian companies but also by the world’s largest mining entities such as Rio Tinto, Anglo American, De Beers and BHP Billiton. The development comes at a time when the sector has been identified for major investment boost to exploit the rich mineral resources of the country.

In a survey conducted by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the government had granted 292 reconnaissance permits (RPs) – permit for regional exploration — to various companies between 2000 and September 2008. Of this, 183 permits have either been relinquished or surrendered by exploration companies as mining the explored mineral was not considered commercially viable. About 70, out of the 183 revoked permits, have been closed by global mining majors like Rio Tinto, Anglo American, De Beers and BHP Billiton.

The summary released by the mining regulatory body has also highlighted that only five companies with RPs were granted licence to conduct exploration at the second stage (prospecting license) while only one RP was converted into an actual mining lease (ML). The entire mineral exploration activity in the country is divided into three stages. In the first stage, companies are offered initial exploratory licence through RPs. A success at this stage results in companies applying for PL that gives exact reserve of minerals and its quality. Finally, ML is granted where companies actually begin mining the resources found.

“The survey points out RPs that was converted into PLs or MLs. Many companies directly apply for PLs or MLs without conducting regional exploration,” an IBM official said.

The report also points at the delay that is caused in grant of mineral concessions and approvals to mining and exploration companies. Out of 53 companies that applied for prospecting license after conducting regional exploration, only five have been granted the license to carry out detailed exploration between 2000 and 2008.

The IBM official said that application for mineral concessions get stuck at various stages of approvals and clearances from central and state governments. He added that environment and forest clearances are the most time-consuming. De Beers, seller of four in ten of the world’s rough diamonds, awaits prospecting license for more than 2,000 sq km under four applications including those for gold, diamonds and associated minerals.

Anglo American, the world’s fourth-largest diversified mining company, has also returned more than 17,000 sq km and relinquished 13 RPs for base metals. “The metals were not found to be commercial viable for mining when the exploration was conducted,” says Anglo American CEO P Balakrishnan. He added that exploration is an activity where success rate might not be very high.

A number of global mining giants, who have been taking keen interest in Indian diamond mining including De Beers, Rio Tinto and BHP, have relinquished or surrendered exploration permits for more than 90,000 sq km. De Beers has closed more than 43,043 sq. km under 25 RPs, Rio Tinto has closed 14,802 sq km under 10 RPs while BHP Billiton, through its two wholly-owned Indian subsidiary companies, namely BHP Minerals (India) and BHP Khanij Anveshana, has relinquished 17 RPs covering 34,685 sq km.


Source: The Economics Times

Bookmark with:

posted in:

  • Home>
  • Mining News,
  • >
  • Asia,
  • >
  • 50% mining permits turn hollow promises

Other Mining News