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The Mines And Mineral Environmental Sciences Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Sciences
Wordcount: 2369 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The relevant rules in force under the MMDR Act are the Mineral Concession rules, 1960, outlining the procedures and conditions for obtaining a prospecting license or a mining lease, and the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules,1988 that lay down the guidelines for ensuring mining on a scientific basis and without environment degradation.

All the major minerals come under the purview of the Central Government. Minor minerals are separately notified and come under purview of state Government who have formulated Mineral Concession Rules for this purpose.

Ministry of Coal and Public Sector Coal Companies

At the Government level projects each costing Rs.20 Crores and above are being monitored. As on 31-12-2001, there are 63 such projects (mining & non-mining) under implementation at Coal India Limited (CIL) Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).

Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) [1] 

There were four PSUs under the Department of Mines in 2003-2004, namely:

1. National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO), Bhubaneswar;

2. Hindustan Copper Limited (HCL), Kolkata;

3. Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL), Nagpur;

4. Bharat Gold Mines Limited (BGML), Kolar Gold Fields, Karnataka*;

* Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) has been closed under Section 25(O) of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 from 1.3.2001.

Joint Sector Companies

In the following two companies, Government of India holds a minority stake after disinvestment and transfer of management control to Strategic Partners:

1. Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), Korba, Chattisgarh.

2. Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) Udaipur, Rajasthan.

Research Institutions

There are three Research Institutions under the Department of Mines:

1. Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminius Research Development and Design Centre (JNARDDC), Nagpur;

2. National Institute of Rock Mechanics (NIRM), Karnataka, and

3. National Institute of Miners’ Health (NIMH), Nagpur.

Other Bodies


The Geological Survey of India (GSI), a premier scientific organisation in the country relentlessly pursuing its objectives since 1851 to fulfill the society’s requirement of minerals and raw materials for industrial growth besides, ensuring a safe community life free from the vagaries of natural hazards. The organisation has now successfully completed 152 years of glorious service to the nation.

Thrust Areas of Activity

The thrust areas of GSI’s activities have evolved with the changing national priorities throughout the successive Five Year Plans and are presently oriented in the light of the objectives and goals set up for the Xth plan. The major thrust areas in respect of GSI identified in the Xth Five Year Plan are:

✤ Creation and updating of National geo-scientific database through specialised thematic studies geochemical and geophysical mapping : Specialised thematic studies, multi-elemental geochemical mapping of the country with ultra-low detection level analytical facilities, low-altitude aerogeophysical multi-sensor surveys and ground geophysical mapping of prioritised areas have been stressed to locate so far undiscovered and/or deep-seated/ concealed prospects/deposits based on new concepts of ore genesis. Seabed survey will continue in Territorial Waters and parametric survey in EEZ along with preliminary assessment of economic materials in seabed.

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✤ Concept oriented search for concealed mineral deposits with stress on deficient and high-tech minerals: The principal thrust of GSI in the mineral exploration would remain on noble metals, precious stone, base metal, coal and lignite. Appraisal will continue for ferrous and non-ferrous (bauxite), fertilizer, strategic, refractory and high-tech. minerals. In addition, to the mineral prognostication, the organization would continue with systematic updating of the data base in the mineral resource sector to provide reliable and relevant information on mineral and other natural resources to the public and private sector entrepreneurs to sustain investment in mineral sector.

✤ Seismic micro-zonation of urban clusters, active fault mapping and observational seismology for delineation of potential risk zones for geo-hazard management: Earthquake studies including active fault mapping, observational seismology for delineation of potential risk zones for geo-hazard management and seismic micro-zonation of urban clusters as a part of preparedness and hazard mitigation with state-of-the-art technology and instrumental support. [3] 

✤ Compilation and digitisation of maps for archival preservation and dissemination: Information Technology is vital for preservation, management, retrieval and analysis of geoscientific data bank accumulated by GSI in past 152 years of existence. The task of soft copy conversion of all the reports taken up in previous year has almost been completed. GSI has also embarked upon an ambitious plan for creation of internet portal, which will provide uninterrupted connectivity among all the offices of GSI, spread over in 32 cities of the country. The portal, apart from dissemination of information via internet or intranet will also be useful to integrate work plan, collaboration, messaging and content management.

✤ Modernisation programmes of GSI: Modernisation as well as upgradation of laboratories as National, Regional and Operational level facilities to provide high quality laboratory support is continuing. It has remained constant endeavour to upgrade and modernise laboratory equipment. GSI procured Isotope Dilution Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer

(IDTIMS). Using separated U and Pb from mineral grains first time in India, age data has been determined which are regarded as global standards. Digital MEQ recorder for earthquake studies, micro-thermometric apparatus for geothermal studies and micro-gravimeter and ground conductivity meters for geophysical studies were also procured.

Expert Committee Report

The report of the Expert Committee set up by the Department of Mines to examine and recommend suitable changes in the Charter of GSI through assessment of the role and functions of GSI in the light of developments in the field of earth sciences over the last 30 years has been accepted by the Government. The committee has revised the Charter and functions of GSI and has made recommendations to make GSI more responsive to the scientific and societal needs and enhance its visibility.

Some of the important recommendations of the committee incorporated in the revised charter of functions of GSI are (i) setting up of Geosciences Institute for attaining excellence in R & D efforts, (ii) setting up of a commercial wing, (iii) developing strong Management Information System (MIS), (iv) upgrading and modernising laboratories, (v) training of middle level scientists, and (vi) restructuring of personnel management.


The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) is a subordinate office under the Department of Mines. It is engaged in the promotion & conservation of minerals, protection of mines’ environment and scientific development of mineral resources of the country, other than coal, petroleum and natural gas, atomic minerals and minor minerals. It performs regulatory functions, namely enforcement of the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988, the relevant provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, Mineral Conces-sion Rules, 1960 and Environmental Protection Act 1986 and Rules made thereunder. It also undertakes scientific, technoeconomic, research oriented studies in various aspects of mining, geological studies, ore beneficiation and environmental studies.

IBM provides technical consultancy services to the mining industry for the geological appraisal of mineral resources, and the preparation of feasibility reports of mining projects, including beneficiation plants. It prepares mineral maps and a countrywide inventory of mineral resources of leasehold and freehold areas. It also promotes and monitors community development activities in mining areas. IBM also functions as Data Bank of Mines and Minerals and publishes statistical periodicals. It also brings out technical publications/monographs on individual mineral commodities and bulletins of topical interest. It advises the Central and State Governments on all aspects of mineral industry, trade, legislation, etc

Statistical Publications [5] 

IBM disseminates statistical information on mines, minerals, metals and mineral based industries through its various publications. Information on mineral production, stocks, despatches, employment, inputs in mining, mining machinery and related matters received from the mine owners on statutory basis under the MCDR, 1988 and ancillary statistics on metals production, mineral trade and market prices of minerals, revenue from the mining sector, rent, royalty and cess on minerals, etc. from other agencies is compiled regularly by IBM.

Consultancy Service

IBM provides technical consultancy services on prescribed charges for geological appraisals, survey of the areas, preparation of feasibility study reports, environment impact assessment and environment management plan, selection of suitable mining equipment, evaluation of feasibility report prepared by other consultants, financial institutions, etc.

Technical Publications

IBM brings out technical publications relating to mines and minerals, mineral based industries, trade, beneficiation, R&D activities, etc. During the year 2003-2004, Bulletin on Mining Leases and Prospecting Licences-2001 issue, three issues of half yearly bulletin on Mineral Information (October, 2001-March, 2002, April-September, 2002 and October, 2002 – March, 2003) and Indian Minerals Year Book 2003 issue were released.

Chapter 3

Statutory Structure and Legal Regime

Following the enactment of the Nationalization Acts, the coal industry was reorganized into two major public sector companies, namely Coal India Limited (CIL) which owns and manages all the old Government-owned mines of National Coal Development Corporation (NCDC) and the nationalized private mines and Singreni Colliery Company Limited (SCCL) which was in existence under the ownership and management of Andhra Pradesh State Government at the time of the nationalization. [6] 

According to Ministry of Coal, till 31st December 2007, 170 captive coal blocks have been allocated, of which 15 blocks allotted to 3 PSUs and 9 private companies have already started producing coal. Of the 170 captive coal blocks allotted (with reserves 39.3 billion tonnes), 76 coal blocks with reserves of about 23.6 billion tonnes have been allotted to power sector (with 24 coal blocks allotted in 2007) [7] 

Legislation and policy developments in the coal sector [8] 



Main provisions


Mines Act

Promoted the adoption of health and safety standards in coal mines.


Mines and Minerals Regulation and Development Act

Vested in the Central government control over prospecting and mining of coal reserves.


Coal Bearing Areas (Acquisition and Development) Act

Increased public control over coal production by empowering the Central government to acquire unworked land containing or likely to contain coal deposits.


Mineral Concession Rules

Provided for procedures for the grant of prospecting licences, mining leases, payment of royalty for `other minor minerals.


Coking Coal Mines (Emergency Provisions) Act

Provided for the take over of the management of coking coal mines and coke oven plants.


Coking Coal Mines (Nationalisation Act)

Provided for nationalization of 214 coking coal mines


Coal Mines (Taking over of Management) Act

Extended management control of the Central government to 738 coking and non-coking coal mines including the coking coal mines taken over earlier.


Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act

Nationalization of all coking and non-coking coal mines and reserved coal mining for the public sector, with a few exceptions.


Coal Mines (Conservation and Development) Act

Provided for the conservation of coal during mining operations.


Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Amendment Act

Allowed private participation in captive coal mining and setting up of washeries.


Committee on Integrated Coal Policy (Chari Committee)

Recommendations included deregulating prices, allocation of blocks on the basis of a competitive bidding process in which Indian companies including national coal companies could participate and establishment of a regulatory body.


Colliery Control Order

Deregulated the prices of all grades of coal.


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