Reforms in mining sector: Women working in a mining site
INDIA is in the process of revamping its mining laws in a bid to attract more foreign mining and exploration companies to invest in its domestic mining sector, said a Indian top policymaker on Tuesday (March 9). “Basically the purpose and intention of the new mining policy is to ensure much greater private sector participation and much greater private sector investment in the mining sector,” said Vijay Kumar, special secretary to the Ministry of Mines in India. Exploration companies have shied away from India because the current mining law in India does not allow mining concessions to be transferred from one company to another. Most small exploration companies lack the capability of taking a project from the development stage all the way into production, hurting the level of investment in India’s mining sector. “We believe that what has been done in India is surface deposit mining and gathering of the low hanging fruit,” said Kumar, adding that the time has come to tap reserves that are much deeper below the surface. Canada is a powerhouse in the mining sector and home to about 55 per cent of the world’s publicly listed mining companies. There are more mining companies listed on the TMX equity exchanges in Canada than any other market in the world. Kumar hopes that Canadian mining and exploration companies will lead the way in investing in the Indian mining sector as soon as the new policy is enacted into law. “We believe that the time has come to recognize the expertise involved in prospecting,” said Kumar at a function hosted by the Canada-India Business Council, along the sidelines of the PDAC mining convention in Toronto. The PDAC convention, organized by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, is the largest industry gathering of its kind, drawing more than 20,000 participants this year as global metals demand promises to hold steady and the world emerges from economic crisis. Kumar expects the new mining policy - likely to be introduced in Parliament during the current budgetary session - to be passed by December. “We are extremely hopeful and optimistic that parliament will find it fairly easy to approve the main provisions of the code,” said Kumar, who played a key role in developing the new policy. Kumar said the new policy that has been worked on for over a year is an investor-friendly policy that takes into account the views of all stakeholders. “Much of our time in the last six months was taken up in discussions with other stakeholders, including NGOs, environmentalists and others,” he said. “It is one thing to give a legal license to mine, but it is another thing to give a social license to mine. Much of our efforts over the last few months have been to ensure that the legal license to mine is accompanied by the social license to mine.”
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