Odisha to set up Mineral Exploration Corporation

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to streamline the process of mining in the State, the Odisha government has decided to set up a Mineral Exploration Corporation which will operate under the guidelines of Odisha mineral exploration policy, informed Mines Secretary R.K Sharma. The decision in this regard was taken during a meeting headed by the chief secretary. The modalities of the corporation were also discussed in the meeting.

According to sources, the State government had decided to setup a Mineral Exploration Corporation to streamline the process of notification on mines auction and to make other changes in the process. In pursuant to this, a meeting was called today to discuss the blueprint and the modalities of setting up such a corporation.

Mines Secretary R.K. Sharma informed that the State government has finalised the modalities through which the G3 level mines which have identified for notification will be brought into G2 category as per the provisions of the amended MMDR Act. In effect, once these mines are categorised as of G2 level, it will enable the State government to issue notifications on its own without the permission of the Centre, added sources.

Industry expert BS Pani said, “Exploration means to find out the quantity of mineral resources, in which area it is present and details about other surrounding conditions such as forest area and presence of river water.”

Further he stated, “Definitely commercial value of the mineral resources will be established properly and the government will fetch good money during auction.”

Notably, the State government is yet to issue a notification for auction of 7 mines which are in G3 level. Hence, as per the newly-decided modalities, all these 7 mines will be brought under G2 level and the State government will soon publish a notification for auction of the same.

The newly-formed exploration corporation will also play a key role in giving operational clearance and extension of leases as per the amended MMDR Act to the mines which have been closed due to irregularities or lease expiry, informed sources.