Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL), a Mineral Exploration Agency under the Ministry of Mines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Directorate of Mines & Geology (DMG), Goa for exploration of Iron ore reserves in Goa.
- The MoU enables MECL to assess mineral resources in Goa (by conducting Geo-Scientific exploration), finalise the blocks to be auctioned and also establish Goa’s mineral inventory.
- The MoU was signed by Dr. Ranjit Rath, CMD of MECL & Vivek H P, Director of DMG, Goa.
Goa’s Iron Ore Deposits
i.Goa is bestowed with Large deposits of Iron Ore (1,456 Million Tonnes (MT)) & also other minerals like Bauxite (55 MT) & Manganese Ore (34MT).
ii.Iron Ore mining contributes to the regional income and employment in Goa.
iii.Goa already has an inbuilt logistic environment for export of minerals due to availability of ports near the mining site.
MMDR Amendment Act
i.The Government has recently amended the MMDR (Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act 2021.
ii.The new amendments ‘Mineral (Auction) Second Amendment Rules, 2021’ & ‘Minerals (Evidence of Mineral Contents) Amendment Rules’ enables states to fast track the auction process of their mineral acreages (extent or area in acres).
Centre takes Complete Control of District Mineral Foundation (DMF)
The Central Government has taken Complete Control of the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) Funds from the State Government.
- The taking over of DMF funds by the Central Government nullifies the right of state governments to sanction/approve any expenditure out of funds accrued from mandatory contribution from mining lease holders.
- The move has been taken by the Ministry of Mines stating that Funds of DMF were being transferred to the treasury/consolidated fund of the state or state level funds by the State Governments.
Purpose of DMFs
i.Under the scheme ‘Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana’, DMFs are required to use the funds for welfare of persons and areas affected by mining-related operations, with the tribal population being the main intended beneficiaries.
ii.Since their inception in 2015-16, around INR 49,400 crore has flown into DMF funds.
Financial Statistics of DMF
The Total collection under DMF stands at INR 49,414 crore. Out of this, INR 46,489 crore has been sanctioned and INR 23,751 crore has been spent on various projects.
- DMF fund collections were the highest in Odisha (INR 13,336 crores), followed by Chhattisgarh (INR 6,995 crores), Jharkhand (INR 6,856 crores), Rajasthan (INR 5,008 crores) & Madhya Pradesh (INR 4,015 crores).
Recent Related News:
i.January 18, 2021, Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a proposal for amending the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 or MMDR Act, 1957.
ii.On January 11, 2021 Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually launched ‘Single Window Clearance System’ for coal mines.
About Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL)
CMD – Dr. Ranjit Rath
Head Office – Nagpur, Maharashtra
About Directorate of Mines & Geology (DMG)
Director – Vivek H.P.,
Head Office – Panaji, Goa