Rajasthan may put about 400 small size mining leases of minerals like granite, marble and quartz under the hammer in 2015 as it looks to expand its area under mining as well as increase revenue.
The state, which accounts for 9% of total mineral production in the country, is also exploring joint ventures (JV) with multi-national companies (MNCs) to expand the land under mining from 0.54% to 1.5% with focus on 22 unexploited minerals.
“The state government is likely to put about 400 small size (4 hectare and above) mining leases of mineral granite, marble, quartz and feldspar for re-auction in the current calendar year,” said Rajasthan principal secretary (mines) Ashok Singhvi.
Besides, the state — a major player in mineral production — is likely to auction 10 lignite blocks in this fiscal as it plans to enhance power generation capacity.
Singhvi further said, “To increase the land under mining from 0.54% to 1.5% the state government with this available resource is exploring the unexplored areas as well as by entering into JVs with MNCs for exploration and prospecting.”
Under a policy released last week, Rajasthan aims to increase land under mining from 0.54% to 1.5%, increase revenue from such activities and raise the number of minerals to be mined from 57 to 79.
According to Rajasthan Mineral Policy 2015, to increase the number of minerals under mining from 57-79 the government has allowed several minerals, which were earlier reserved for exploitation by public sector only to be explored and mined by private firms also, like Potash and steel grade Dolomite.
“Furthermore, it is encouraging the mining of the associated minerals which are available in association with base metals in the operational mining leases. More thrust is given for exploration by JV with multinational companies for unexploited 22 minerals,” the policy says.
The policy also seeks to infuse greater transparency and enhance efficiency in grant of mineral concessions by simplifying the procedure and adopting e-governance.
It also aims to enhance exploration of mineral wealth of with the help of in-house facilities available and outsourcing other modern techniques through private participation.