BHUBANESWAR: The Cabinet will soon consider amendments to the mining and minerals development and regulation (MMDR) Act, which will extend the reforms under way in the coal sector to minerals such as iron ore and bauxite, according to industry sources familiar with proposed changes in the 57-year old law. The changes in the MMDR Act, which would stipulate that minerals other than coal, henceforth will also be allocated though auction, may be brought about through an ordinance, according to these sources.

The amendments, as per a draft version, will allow a transfer of mining leases. Further, leases will cover a far larger area,100 sq km instead of 10 sq km, and will be for longer periods, possibly 50 years. Also companies, which have applied for renewals, might be exempted from the auction route for between five and 15 years in case of captive mines for players such as Tata Steel, according to officials at mining companies, who are aware of the proposed changes. A levy linked to royalty that will be paid to district mineral foundations for all districts affected by mining, also figures among the amendments. Read more

Courtesy: The Economic Times