In a bid to provide ease of doing business to mining players, the Centre is in talks with five states for "pre-embedded clearances" of 21 mines, including those of iron ore, coal and lignite, mines secretary Vivek Bharadwaj said on Tuesday.
The government is also in the process to enact the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 2002, the senior ministry official said.
The government is in talks with five states, including Odisha, Rajasthan and Gujarat, for pre-embedded clearance of 21 mines, Bharadwaj told PTI in response to a question about steps being taken for early operationalisation of auctioned mines.
The miners will get pre-embedded clearances for various processes included in mining, like approval of the mining plan, forest clearances, environment clearances and other regulatory clearances, he said.
"The move will help in early operationalisation of the mines. It takes 5 years (minimum) to make a mine operational. This will come to one-two months," he said while speaking on the sidelines of a FICCI event in the national capital.
The said blocks bear minerals like iron ore, lignite etc. spread across these states, the official said.
Over 5 million tonnes of lithium reserves, which have been found in Jammu and Kashmir recently, will also be auctioned this year, the secretary said.
Earlier while releasing FICCI's 'New Age Energy Minerals' report, the top ministry official said, "Offshore Mining Act was enacted in 2002. Today is 2023 and we were unable to take out a single rock from the sea bed. The reason is litigation (processes). Our government is very decisive and proactive and we are in process of amending the Offshore Act which is into public domain for consultations which are over also. It would hopefully debated by the Parliament very soon."
On the report he said, the study gives the perspective of each mineral and the recommendations provided in it are "very solid". It will help the government to make policy prescription for the sector.
The report provides a detailed overview of geographical and geological data, value chains, end-use sectors, applications, market outlook, and long-term demand for each mineral, along with challenges, opportunities, and key recommendations.
FICCI President Subhrakant Panda called for the development of integrated mining and supply chains to achieve the vision of a self-reliant India, or Atmanirbhar Bharat.
He underscored India's import dependency on these minerals.
Panda urged the formulation of a long-term strategy to meet the demand surge in future.