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Achievements and Initiatives of the Ministry of Mines for the Year 2011

Written By Krishna on Saturday, December 31, 2011 | 12:00 AM

YEAR END REVIEW 2011

NEW LEGISLATION

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 prepared by the Ministry to replace the existing Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 has been approved by the Cabinet and the bill has been introduced in the Winter Session of Parliament. The bill has been prepared after several rounds of consultation and workshop with all Stakeholders. The Bill seeks a complete and holistic reform in the mining sector with provisions to address issues relating to sustainable mining and local area development, benefit sharing mechanism to the people affected by mining operations. The Bill also aims to ensure transparency, equity, elimination of discretions, effective redressal and regulatory mechanisms along with incentives encouraging good mining practices, which will also lead to technology absorption and exploitation of deep seated minerals.

STRATEGIC PLAN FOR MINISTRY OF MINES

The Ministry of Mines has prepared a detailed Strategic Plan document “Unlocking the Potential of the Indian Minerals Sector” in order to systematize the functioning of the Ministry and align it more directly with the vision emanating from the National Mineral Policy. The Strategic plan has identified that the Indian minerals sector holds a huge potential for all stakeholders, including the central government, state government, community and the entire economy. With the right kind of support, the mining sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the GDP and also improve the revenues of royalty and taxes. The Strategic Plan has identified the six priorities to achieve the objectives. These priorities are (i) expanding resource and reserve base by stepping up exploration and aiding international acquisition of strategic minerals (ii) reducing permit delays to create a more favourable policy environment (iii) setting up core enablers for mining—infrastructure, human capital and technology (iv) ensuring sustainable mining and development (v) creating an information, education and communication plan and (vi) establishing the right governance structure for effective implementation

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK (SDF)

Based on the report (2007) of the High Level Committee constituted by the Planning Commission to review the National Mineral Policy 1993 as part of the process of bringing in International Standards into the Mining Sector, best practices in environment management, appropriate use of land within a planning framework through a decision making process on the basis of integrated assessment of ecological, environmental, economical and social impact are being incorporated into Mining based activities. The Ministry engaged an expert consultant for creating a Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for the mining sector. The consultant, taking into consideration that mining should contribute to economic, social and cultural wellbeing of indigenous host populations and local communities by creating stakeholders interest in mining operations for the project affected people (PAP), has prepared a document and submitted to the Government. A wider dissemination of the SDF has been undertaken and the SDF document is being finalised before its final roll-out.

COMMISSION OF INQUIRY TO PROBE ILLEGAL MINING

Several incidents of the illegal mining all over the country especially for iron and manganese ore have come to the notice of the Central Government. In order to make an inquiry into a definite matter of public importance, namely, mining of iron ore and manganese ore in contravention of the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act, 1957, the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and other Central and State Acts and the Rules and guidelines issued there under and raising, transportation and exporting of such ores illegally or without lawful authority at various places within the country, the Ministry of Mines in exercise of powers conferred by section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 has appointed a Commission of Inquiry consisting of Justice M.B. Shah, retired Judge of the Supreme Court of India. The Commission has submitted first interim report. Based on the finding of the first interim report, the Government has already initiated action. The Commission has carried out inspection of several mining sites in the States of Karnataka, Goa, Odisha.

AMENDMENT OF RULE 45 OF MCDR 1988

The Ministry of Mines has notified amended Rule 45 in Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988, which stipulates mandatory registration of miners, stockists, traders, exporters, and end-users of minerals, and stringent reporting norms for ensuring end-to-end accounting of the mineral produced. In this system it is mandatory for the miners, traders, exporters, and end-users of the minerals to send a copy of the reports to State Governments also. The State Governments have also been advised to ensure that any automation in the reporting system developed at the State levels should be compliant with the amended Rule 45 of the MCDR. The registration system has already started and the Ministry of Mines is working closely with the IBM to commence the online submission of monthly and annual returns of production to be filed by the mining lessee at the earliest. The work on system of online reporting is in progress.



REVISION OF RATES OF ROYALTY AND DEAD RENT

In order to review the royalty rates and dead rent, the Ministry of Mines has constituted a Study Group under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Mines) regarding revision of royalty rates and rates of dead rent for minerals (other than coal, lignite and sand for stowing) and to make appropriate recommendations to the Government. Apart from other terms and recommendations, the Study Group has been also mandated to recommend revision of rates and in case, if necessary, give an additional conditional recommendation on what should be the royalty rate and the mechanism for computation of royalty rates after taking into account the liabilities on the lease holder as envisaged in the draft MMDR Bill, 2011, in the event the Parliament approves the new draft Bill.

EXPLORATION IN OFFSHORE AREAS

The Central Government in exercise of its powers vested as the owners of minerals lying in the offshore areas of the country has enacted the Offshore Areas Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002 and Offshore Mineral Concession Rules 2006. With effect from January 2010, the Central Government has notified the Controller General, IBM as an Administering Authority for grant of mineral concessions and regulating the exploration and mining activities. In pursuance to this Controller General, IBM notified the mineral bearing blocks in offshore areas, 26 in Bay of Bengal and 37 in Arabian Sea for grant of Exploration Licence. In response, IBM has received 377 applications and Grant orders have been issued for 62 blocks to 16 applicants in April 2011. Commencement of offshore exploration will set a new benchmark in the achievement of Indian Mining industry to exploit offshore minerals.

PREPARATIONS OF REPORTS FOR XII FIVE YEAR PLAN

The 2011-12 is the terminal year of the XI Five Year Plan and therefore, the action has been initiated for formulation of the XII Five Year Plan. In respect of non-coal sector a Working Group on Mineral Exploration and Development (Other than Coal and Lignite) has been formulated in the Ministry of Mines to make recommendations for incorporating in the XII Five Year Plan to the Planning Commission. The Working Group has submitted report and major long term goals such as Increase in investment in exploration; Improvement in regulatory systems; Promote scientific and optimal Mining; Infrastructure creation; Modernise exploration and the mining industry; Increase mineral resources and help ensure raw materials security; Implement sustainable development framework; Provide direction to science policy and R&D; Enable techno-economic policy formulation etc. have been proposed.

MINERAL CONCESSION SYSTEM & TRANSPARENCY

In the federal structure of India, the State Governments are the owners of minerals located within their respective boundaries. The Central Government is the owner of the minerals underlying the ocean within the territorial waters or the Exclusive Economic Zone of India. The State Governments grant the mineral concessions {Reconnaissance Permit (RP), Prospecting Licence (PL) and Mining Lease (ML)}for all the minerals located within the boundary of the State, under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957. Prior approval of the Central Government is required under Section 5 of the Act for grant of RP, PL and ML in respect of Atomic and Metallic Minerals specified in Parts ‘B’ and ‘C’ of the first Schedule to the Act.

The Ministry of Mines has, in consultation with the State Governments, issued detailed guidelines on 24th June, 2009, in order to bring about more clarity and transparency in processing the mineral concession proposals under the MMDR Act, 1957 and MCR, 1960. The Ministry has also, in consultation with the State Governments, framed a Policy on ‘special reasons’ to be adopted by all State Governments while recommending a mineral concession proposal in favour of a later applicant under Section 11(5) of the Act. Guidelines in this regard have been issued to the State Governments on 9th February, 2010. Besides, the Ministry has issued guidelines on 13th October, 2010 regarding submission of maps by the State Governments along with the proposals.

The Government of Madhya Pradesh has formulated their Mineral Policy 2010 which includes the ‘Special Reasons’ framed by them for recommending a later applicant in a non-notified area under Section 11(5) of the MMDR Act, 1957. The Ministry has advised them to ensure uniform compliance of the same in all cases. All other State Governments have also been requested vide letter dated 20.10.2011 to examine their respective State Minerals Policies and incorporate therein suitable ‘Special Reasons’ specific to their respective States.

The Ministry of Mines had, vide order dated 4.3.2009, constituted a Central Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (CEC) under the chairpersonship of Secretary (Mines) on monitoring and minimizing delays at various levels in grant of approvals for mineral concession applications. Six meetings of the Committee have been held in the Ministry so far - on 24.7.09, 22.12.09, 18.6.10, 22.12.10, 3.5.11 and 20.9.11, wherein important decisions aimed at minimizing delays in processing of concession applications and improving the overall concession regime were taken. As per the decision taken in the first meeting of the CEC, all mineral-rich State Governments viz. Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu have constituted their State-level Committees.

Keeping in view the need for having more effective coordination as well as for dealing with important matters relating to mineral development and regulation in the country, the Ministry has, vide order dated 20.10.2011, reconstituted the Committee as “Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee on Mineral Development and Regulation”. Its terms of reference have also been widened to bring within its ambit other important issues like coordination and review of steps for prevention of illegal mining, development and implementation of sustainable development framework etc. Besides the Ministry of Mines, the CEC comprises representatives of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Home Affairs, Steel, Shipping, Finance (Revenue), Railways, Fertilizers, Department of Atomic Energy, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Geological Survey of India and Indian Bureau of Mines. Representatives of the State Departments are also co-opted in the Committee. All State Governments have been advised vide letter dated 17.11.2011 to consider reconstitution of their respective State-level Empowered Committees similarly.

The next meeting of the CEC is scheduled to be held on 16.1.2012.

At the instance of the Ministry of Mines, the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has brought out a compendium titled “Mineral Concession System in India”, which contains useful information on various aspects of mineral concessions, viz. India as a mineral investment destination, mineral legislation and regulation and grant of mineral concessions.

A Working Group under the chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Mines) has been set up in the Ministry 20.1.2011 for developing software for monitoring and expediting forest clearances in respect of mineral concession applications. As per the recommendations of the Working Group, the MoEF has redesigned its software, which is expected to be operationalised shortly.

The Ministry of Mines is using internet services to bring about more transparency in processing the mineral concession applications. The website of the Ministry (www.mines.nic.in) provides all information on the current status of the mineral concession applications.

Revisions Application & Disposal

New Revision software for monitoring Revisions Applications filed under Section 30 of Mines & Mineral (Development and Regulations) MMDR Act., 1957 has been made fully operational. During the year ( upto 15th December, 2011) 773 Applications challenging the States Governments orders were disposed of.

INITIATIVES TAKEN BY GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA ( GSI)

GSI with its present focus on exploration for concealed and deep seated deposits has initiated a number of baseline geoscientific data generation programmes like National Geomorphological and Lineament Mapping, Hyperspectral Mapping and National Aeromagnetic Mapping. National Geochemical Mapping and Geophysical Mapping are continuing and are proposed to be completed by the end of the XII Plan through outsourcing and GSI’s own resources.

During the Field Season 2010-12 GSI has made significant augmentation/discoveries in Gold, Molybdenum, Basemetal, Iron Ore and Manganese in the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa respectively. GSI has also estimated coal resource of 2641.63 million tonne in the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh and 124.6 million tonne of lignite in Tamilnadu, Rajasthan and West Bengal during 2010-12 (as on 01.04.2011).

Information technology is being widely utilized by GSI for monitoring progress of field and project activities, accessing unpublished project reports, publications (Records, memoirs) Detailed Information Dossiers (DIDs), District Resource Maps, Geological Quadrangular Maps, Case Histories, Photo-gallery etc. The GSI Portal provides structured, logically organized information to different categories of users. GSI Portal received the Silver Award in the “Best Government Portal” Category for National e-Governance Awards 2011 by DARPG. GSI has embarked upon the Phase III of the Portal Project and Online Core Business Integrated System (OCBIS) is the essential part of this initiative.

In its modernisation drive GSI is in the process of acquiring a new ocean going research vessel for execution of seabed survey and exploration of non-living resources. GSI is also engaged in the procurement of a Geotechnical vessel with drilling capabilities. GSI is process of installing geophysical instruments onto its ‘Dhruv’ helicopter to carry out low altitude geophysical surveys.

RESTRUCTURING OF THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA (GSI)

Restructuring of GSI on basis of the High Power Committee recommendations has gathered momentum. There is a significant improvement in HR position with induction of S&T personnel at JTS level during the year. A cabinet note on the restructuring of GSI based on the recommendations of the High Power Committee has been approved by the cabinet on 25.10.2011. The proposals, as approved are under implementation.

INITIATIVES TAKEN BY INDIAN BUREAU OF MINES ( IBM)

For promotion of conservation and scientific development of mineral resources and ensuring protection of mines environment in mining areas, IBM carried out 1,478 Inspection of mines for enforcement of provision of MCDR, 1988 and examination of MP/MS, approved 113 Mining Plans and 208 Schemes of Mining. For up gradation and utilization of low grade and sub-grade ores and minerals, IBM carried out 40 Ore dressing investigations, 31,502 Chemical Analysis, 1,620 Mineralogical studies and one in Plant study. As a part of Consultancy services on charge and promotional basis to mining industry on mining, geological & environmental aspects, IBM completed 4 Technical Consultancy Assignments and 7 Mining Research Assignments and conducted 07 training courses for IBM and Industry personnel. Preparation of 100 multi-mineral maps with forest overlays in respect of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, West Bengal, North-Eastern States, Kerala and Goa are in progress. Updation of NMI as on 01.4.2010 is in progress and work completed for 36 minerals. For dissemination of data on mines and minerals, 10 Statistical and technical publications have been released.

To develop an online National Mineral Information System by linking Central and State organizations engaged in administration of mineral resources in the country, a project on "Computerized Online Register of Mining Tenements System" is being implemented. GIS component of the pilot project incorporating very limited data in Bellary (Karnataka) and Durg (Chattisgarh) has been completed. The job for preparation of DPR has been assigned by the NICSI to the consultant M/s. Earnest & Young on 19th May, 2011. Preparation of DPR by M/s E & Y is in progress and is likely to be completed by Dec., 2011. A national Workshop of all stake holders was organized at NIC’s HQ on 10.10.2011 & training cum workshop had been organized on 17th & 18th November 2011 at IBM HQ, Nagpur for online registration, online register for MTS & online submission of Monthly & Annual Returns.

MINERAL PRODUCTION / TRADE

Total provisional value of mineral production including minor minerals but excluding atomic minerals during the year 2010-11 and 2011-12 (Estimated) was about Rs. 212499 crores and Rs. 226522 crores respectively. The value of Minerals and Ores exported during the year 2009-10 was Rs. 127831 crores whereas the value of import was Rs. 524830 crores. The provisional value of minerals and ores exported during the year 2010-11 (Provisional) was Rs. 165080 crores whereas the value of import was Rs. 669010 crores.

NATIONAL ALUMINUM COMPANY LIMITED (NALCO)

Nalco signed an MoU with Indian Rare earths ltd (IREL), a PSU under Department of Atomic Energy, for making value-added products from beach sand minerals, which would subsequently be used for making titanium and allied products. The MoU was signed by CMD, Nalco and CMD, IREL in Bhubaneswar, on January 14. The project is estimated to cost ` 400 crore and is planned to be set up at Chhatrapur in Ganjam district of Odisha. Another MoU was also signed in Jakarta on 04.10.2011 with Government of East Kalimantan in presence of Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of Indian to set up a Smelter & Power Project.

Board of Directors of NALCO has approved the capital restructuring of equity by splitting the share of ` 10 into two shares of ` 5 each. The Board has also decided for 1:1 bonus share, i.e. one bonus share for each share held, in its board Meeting held on 31st January 2011.

Approval of mining Lease of the ` 338 crore Utkal-E Coal Mine project was received from Ministry of Coal, Government of India in June 2011.

Nalco’s 2nd phase Expansion was completed in all respect with the commissioning of Alumina Refinery project in June, 2011.Other units viz. Smelter and CPP were commissioned in December, 2009 and August, 2010 respectively.

Smelter Plant at Angul started production of another variety of rolled product named as chequered sheet with thickness ranging from 0.60mm to 3.0 mm. The new product has a high demand in automobile industry, vehicle manufacturing and industrial flooring. The first consignment was flagged off on 17th October, 2011.

Nalco and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) signed a joint venture agreement at Mumbai 09.11.2011 to form a joint venture company for establishment of Nuclear Power Plants in India. Under the JV agreement, Nalco would have 49% equity stake out of which 26% equity would be contributed now and would be enhanced later to 49%. The balance would be controlled by NPCIL. Both the companies have already selected Kakrapur units 3 & 4 of 700 MW each in Gujarat as their first JV project where the construction work has already started.

Board of Directors of Nalco in May, 2011 approved the Investment proposal and award of work for establishing 50 MW wind Power Plant in Andhra Pradesh at an investment ` 330 crore. The contract was awarded in June, 2011 and the project is scheduled for completion in February, 2012.

The mining lease of Panchpatmali South Block was renewed for another 20 years with the receipt of Stage-II forest clearance on 20th July, 2011. The original lease period had expired after 30 years of mining.

Against global bid, Nalco has been shortlisted as the only successful bidder for the Mines & Refinery project in Gujarat. The project is scheduled to start in 2012.

The 5th Long Term Wage Settlement of Nalco employees were signed on 5th September, 2011 for a period of ten years, with five Recognized Unions.

In financial year 2011-12, the profit after tax for the half year ended September, 2011 was 516 crore, compared to ` 508 crore for same period last year.

Awards:-

1. Bagged the CSR Award for Best Practices’ under the Global HR Excellence, category at the World HR Congress held in Mumbai from 10th to 12th Feb, 2011. The award was received from Secretary to Govt.of India, Department of Public Enterprise.

2. Panchpatmali Bauxite Mines was awarded the 1st prize for Reclamation and Rehabilitation at the 13th Mines Environment & Mineral Conservation week 2010-11, held under the aegis of Indian Bureau of Mines, Bhubaneswar region.

3. Bagged EEPC ( Eastern Regoin)’s Gold Trophy, as Top Exporter in the Large Enterprise Category, for its outstanding export performance during the year 2008-09 on 25th Feb, 2011.

4. Nalco received the PSE Excellence Award 2011, in the Maharatna nad Navratna category, for Corporate Social Responsibility & Responsiveness, instituted by the Department of Public Enterprises, Govt of India and Indian Chamber of Commerce.

5. Bagged the Top Export Award of CAPEXIL, for its outstanding export performance during the year 2010-11.

6. Bagged the Best Exporters Award for Directorate of Export Promotion and Marketing, Govt. of Odisha for outstanding export of Alumina and Aluminium for the year 2009-10. The award was received in a function held on 3rd Sep., 2011 at Bhubaneswar.

7. Smelter Plant has bagged the pretigious National Energy Conservation Award for the year, 2011.

HINDUSTAN COPPER LIMITED (HCL)

HCL has earned Profit before tax of ` 335.21 crore for the financial year 2010-11 which is highest ever since inception.

The Company has paid ` 92.14 crore as dividend to Government of India for the year 2010-11, which is historically the highest dividend payout by the Company.

Ore Production in 2010-11 at 3.6 million tonne is best in last 12 years.

The Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs in its meeting held on 30.09.2011 has approved the investment of ` 1856.36 crore for the project for expansion of Malanjkhand Copper Project mine from 2.0 million tonne per annum open cast to 5.0 million tonne per annum Underground mine.

The Company has awarded five projects valuing ` 1810.0 crore. Execution of one project has started and remaining projects will commence in the last quarter of current financial year.

Tri-partite agreement of wage settlement was signed by the Management of HCL and Recognized union in the presence of Chief Labour Commissioner.

MINERAL EXPLORATION CORPORATION LTD (MECL)

The upward trend in physical and financial performance of the company has been maintained during 2011. The drilling performance cumulatively up to November’ 11, has been 281281 m representing 113% of 215317 m achieved during the same period of the previous year.

The performance in developmental mining was 7844 m which is 106% of 7402 m achieved during the same period of previous year.

The performance in gross revenue is 14378 lakhs which is 128% of the same period of the previous year. The Gross margin stood at ` 3059 lakhs and the company earned a net profit (before tax) is ` 1540 lakhs. Both these achievements are 155% as compared with the corresponding period of previous year.

A total of 34 work orders valued at 4157 lakhs were received from various clients such as M/s. SAIL for exploration of iron ore, M/s. MOIL for exploration of manganese ore, M/s. AMD for exploratory drilling work, M/s. UCIL for developmental mining work and other agencies.

The MoU composite score for the year 2010-11 was 2.42 and company categorized under the “Very Good” category on the basis of audited data.

MECL has been conferred with “Turn around CPSE Award 2010” by Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises, Department of Public Enterprises, Govt. of India, during March 2011.

Repositioning of MECL:MECL has prepared a document on repositioning of MECL including Corporate Plan, Manpower Plan and Business Plan.

Training on JORC Code: MECL has identified training on Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC), an Australian code for reporting of exploration results, mineral resources & ore reserves as a thrust area along with identification/registration of “Competent Person”. As such, MECL has finalized the names of five officials and three officers have been imparted training on JORC code at Snowden Institute, Australia.

INITIATIVES TAKEN FOR ASSESSING AND EXPLOITING THE MINERAL WEALTH IN THE NORTH-EASTERN REGION.

Ministry of Mines has taken several initiatives through its agencies like Geological Survey of India (GSI), Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) for assessing and exploiting the mineral wealth of the North Eastern Region (NER).

A meeting was held at Shillong on 17th June, 2011under the Chairmanship of Additional Secretary (Mines) to review the progress of ongoing projects in the North Eastern Region, which was attended by representative of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) and representatives of Directorates of Mining and Geology (DGM) of Northern Eastern States. In this meeting GSI was advised to utilize 100% funds outlay earmarked for NER and to take more collaborative projects with concerned state Directorate of Geology and Mining (DGMs) for development of natural resources in NER. It was also decided that state DGMs would convene their State Geological Programming Board (SGPB) meeting before the next Central Geological Programming Board (CGPB) meeting. The Central Geological Programming Board in its meeting held on 24th -25th August, 2011 discussed the issues relating to North Eastern Region. GSI has initiated a new scheme for supply of equipments to the North Eastern Region and outlay of ` 50 lakhs has been kept for such purposes.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION (IC)

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDINGS

Ministry of Mines, Government of India and the Ministry of Energy & Resources of the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada, signed a Memorandum of Cooperation for cooperation in the field of Geology & Mineral Resources, on 15th March, 2011 at New Delhi, during the visit of Saskatchewan Premier to India.

The Ministry of Mines, Government of India and the Ministry of Energy and Mines of Colombia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of Geology & Mineral Resources on 4th May, 2011 at Bogota. Shri Dinsha J. Patel, Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) signed the MoU on behalf of Government of India. Mr. Carlos Rodado Noriega, Minister of Mines and Energy signed the MoU on behalf of Government of Colombia.

The Ministry of Mines, Government of India and the Ministry of Mines, Government of Afghanistan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of Mineral Resources Development on 4th October, 2011, during the visit of Afghanistan President to India. The MoU was signed by Shri Dinsha Patel, Hon’ble Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge) for the Government of India and H.E Mr. Waheedullah Shahrani, Minister of Mines on behalf of the Afghanistan Govenrment. The signing took place in the presence of Hon’ble Prime Dr. Manmohan Sing and H.E. Mr. Hameed Karzai, President of Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Mines, Government of India and the Ministry of Energy & Mines, Government of British Columbia Province, Canada have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources on 17th November, 2011, in the presence of Shri Dinsha Patel, Hon’ble Minister of State for Mines (Independent Charge), Government of India and H.E Ms. Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia Government.

JOINT WORKING GROUP MEETINGS

A meeting of the Joint Working Group on cooperation in the field of Geology and Mineral Resources was held with the Province of Ontario, Canada on 1st March, 2011, through Video Conferencing.

7th Meeting of the India-Australia Joint Working Group on Energy & Minerals was held in Australia on 17-18 May, 2011 at Sydney, Australia. Ministry of Mines is the nodal Ministry from the Indian side for this Working Group. The Protocol signed at the end of the meeting endorsed the activities under the Action Plans on Mining and Minerals, Power, Petroleum and Natural Gas and Coal sectors.

The 2nd Meeting of the India-Uzbekistan Joint Working Group on Geology and Mineral Resources was held in New Delhi on 15th September, 2011. A Protocol was signed at the end of the meeting listed the future course of action for furthering the cooperation programme.

The 1st Meeting of the India-Malawi Joint Working Group on Mineral Resources Development was held in New Delhi on 17th October, 2011 in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Shri S. Vijay Kumar, Secretary in the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, and the Malawi delegation was led by Mr. Anthony Livuza, Secretary, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy & Environment and Government of Malawi. A Protocol was signed at the end of the meeting listed the future course of action for furthering the cooperation programme.

SEMINARS/CONFERENCES/EXHIBITIONS

PROSPECTORS AND DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA (PDAC) 2011: Ministry of Mines participated in PDAC 2011 and put up India Pavilion. which received the attention of large number of visitors and prospective investors. A half day ‘India Day’ was also organised on 8th March, 2011, concurrently with PDAC Convention, which showcased India’s mineral wealth and capabilities and potential of the India’s minerals sector as an attractive investment destination.

CHINA MINING 2011: The CHINA MINING (Congress & Expo) 2011, 6th to 8th November, 2011, was hosted by the Ministry of Land and Resources, China and the Tianjin Municipal Government, China. It is one of the largest mineral exploration and mining trading platforms, covers the whole value chain, including geological survey, exploration development, mining rights, trading, mining investment and financing, smelting and processing technique and equipment, mining services, etc. Ministry of Mines participated in the Congress and set up an Exhibition booth at the Expo. The Indian delegation also visited mining sites, mineral processing units and mineral laboratories.

WORLD MINING CONGRESS: Ministry of Mines participated in the 22nd World Mining Congress held from 11th to 16th September, 2011 at Istanbul, Turkey.

XXIX INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ON MINING: Ministry of Mines participated in the XXIX International Convention on Mining held in Acapulco, Mexico from 26th to 29th October, 2011

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