There is a notable turn around in the mining sector with the mineral auction scenario set to reach a 10 per cent growth and fetch at least INR 1 lakh crore by the end of the current fiscal, according to Mr Arun Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Government of India.

Speaking at the Mining Summit on 6th November, 2017 at New Delhi, Mr Arun Kumar said, the phase of euphoria is over and now realism is setting in the sector. ‘Although there is a need to focus and speed up exploration, but it is not that dismal as has been pointed out. With so much of reforms in the recent time in the new National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), there is every possibility to even ramp up the 10per cent growth and boost the country’s mining potential. States are also coming forward and see value in auction and are willing to invest’, the Secretary added.

Mr Kumar, while emphasized on increasing production from existing mines, also announced about Government working on an appropriate framework of Mineral asset auction process and giving impetus to the private sector in the mineral exploration, thereby removing small glitches highlighted by bidders and industry.

With the creation of National Mineral Exploration Trust (MET) and the National Aero Geo-physical Mapping, government now looks at mapping 8.2 lakh sq mt geographical potential area in phases, for which the tenders and Expressions of Interest are already published in phases, he further added.

The Mining Summit themed around “Exploring the Un-Explored: Powering India’s Mineral Growth”, is organized by CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) in association with and World Mining Congress.

Speaking in the occasion, Mr N K Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines said, though the Centre has overall responsibility for mineral administration, the actual administration takes place in the states. He added, "There is enough material available and therefore there is no rationale for price controls. As far as major minerals are concerned, India is a net exporting country and shall continue in this regard. Practicing transparency should be the key’, he added.

Mr Sunil Duggal, Co-Chairman, CII National \committee on \Mining and CEO Hindustan Zinc Ltd while setting up the theme of the summit, reiterated the industry expectations to promote exploration and optimize natural resources. He also brought forth thoughts around bringing right balance between infrastructure and technology. With revisiting the National Mineral Policy and promoting off-shore exploration, India can look beyond the slow growth rate in mining to more empowerment by 2030, he added.

Mr S K Chowdhary, Vice Chairman- South East Asia Centre, World Mining Congress & Former Chairman, Coal India Ltd highlighted the need of establishing a separate entity in lines of a drilling department, so as to overcome some of the real challenges coming from drilling companies.

The maiden Mining Summit, well attended by the Ministry of Mines and other stalwarts from the mining industry saw some successful deliberations on many important issues including enhancing mineral exploration, facilitate private investment in exploration, adopt technology and make India a potential destination for global mining community.

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