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India to auction 100 blocks for exploration

Staff writer ▼ | July 5, 2016
India will auction 100 prospective mineral blocks of 100 sq km area each by November this year, a move that will boost the country's mining potential.
India mining
Mining industry in India   National Mineral Exploration Policy
Last week approved a new National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP), which will help in attracting more foreign direct investment in the mining sector.

"Geological Survey of India (GSI) has identified 100 blocks. SBI CAP is working on the auction modalities for these blocks and will submit its report in 2-3 months," Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told reporters at the first national minerals & mining conclave here.

When asked about the time-frame of the auction, he said: "The process will start in the next 4-5 months."

Tomar said the NMEP is based on revenue share model to encourage private players and FDI. A sum of Rs 2,116 crore will be needed for its implementation, he added.

Stressing the need for private players to come forward, he said India has 8 lakh square km of possible mining area but only 9-10 per cent has been explored. There are two government agencies, GSI and MECL, for exploration but their capacity is limited.