Amendment of the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 to facilitate identification of mineral blocks for auction for grant of Composite Licence

What is the news?

The Ministry of Mines has notified the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021 and the Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021.

These rules amend the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 (MEMC Rules) and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 (Auction Rules) respectively.

Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Second Amendment Rules, 2021

Background: Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 have been recently amended to provide for auction to grant a composite licence. The licence is granted in respect of areas where at least Reconnaissance Survey (G4) level has been completed or where mineral potentiality of the block has been identified based on the available geoscience data, but resources are yet to be established.

New 2021 Amendments:

It enables any person who is intending to participate in auction to propose suitable blocks for auction for composite licence where mineral potentiality of the blocks has been identified based on the available geoscience data.

–  After this, a committee constituted by the State Government shall assess the mineral potentiality of the blocks proposed and recommend the block for auction. 

Mineral (Auction) Fourth Amendment Rules, 2021

Background: Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 were amended to prescribe bid security, performance security and other eligibility conditions to enable auction of such blocks for composite licence.

New 2021 Amendments:

The rules provide that in case the blocks proposed by any person are notified for auction, the said person would be provided incentive of depositing only half of the bid security amount in auction of the blocks proposed by him.

What is the significance of these amendments?

These amendments would encourage more participation in auctions and promote competition. This will facilitate State Governments in identifying more blocks for auction of composite licence.

Source: This post is based on the article Amendment of the Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Rules, 2015 and the Mineral (Auction) Rules, 2015 to facilitate identification of mineral blocks for auction for grant of Composite Licencepublished in PIB on 16th Dec 2021.

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