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Centre to not extend lease period for non-captive iron ore, manganese ore

Friday, 12 Jul 2019
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The Central government has no plan to extend the lease period for the 329 non-captive iron ore and manganese ore leases beyond 30 March 2019. Preparations are underway as the Ministry of Mines will issue notices inviting tenders (NITs) to auction 48 operational leases to ensure uninterrupted production.

The extension of the lease period for these mines is neither desirable nor in accordance with law.

The operational mines annually produce around 45 million tonne of both the raw materials, mostly iron ore. In order to facilitate auction of the working mines even before the expiry of leases, the government has already brought in an amendment to the Mineral Concession and Development Rules (MCDR) in March 2018, mandating existing lessees to complete G2 level of exploration to establish main geological features of a deposit over the entire mineralised area before April 2019.

The Ministry of Mines also initiated talks with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to allow continuation of mining operations for these mines beyond March 2019 for the new owner with initial approvals.

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