BHUBANESWAR: As per the amended Mineral Conservation and Development Rules notified by the Centre, lessees having annual excavation plan of one million tonne or more or leased area of 50 hectare or more are required to submit drone survey images of leased area and up to 100 metre outside the lease boundary every year.Other lessees are required to submit high-resolution satellite images. This will not only improve mine planning practices, security and safety in the mines but also ensure better supervision of mining operations, it added.
The Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021 framed under section 18 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act) after due consultations with State governments, industry associations, miners and other stakeholders, requires lessees and Letter of Intent (LoI) holders to submit digital images of mining areas. The provision of daily return has been omitted to reduce compliance burden. Power of taking action against incomplete or wrong or false information in monthly or annual returns has been given to Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), in addition to the State government, it said.
Penalty provisions in the rules have also been rationalised. Previously, the rules provided for a penalty of imprisonment up to two years or fine up to Rs 5 lakh or both for violation of each and every rule irrespective of the severity of the violation. In case of major violations, there is a penalty of imprisonment, fine or both while in case of minor violations, penalty is reduced. Violation of other rules has been decriminalised.
The amended rules allow engagement of a part-time mining engineer or a part-time geologist for category-A mines having leased area below 25 hectare. This will ease compliance burden for small miners.In order to increase employment opportunity, diploma in mining and mine surveying granted by duly recognised institute along with a second class certificate of competency issued by the Director General of Mines Safety is added in qualification for full time mining engineer.