Sustainable Mining in India

Apr 04:Before execution of mining lease under the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, every mine is required to obtain statutory clearances from various departments of the Central Government and respective State Governments, including Environmental Clearance and Forest Clearance. Environmental Clearance is issued based on the Environment Impact Assessment of the mine.

To reduce the environmental impact and carbon footprint associated with mining, Chapter V of the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR) 2017, prescribes rules for sustainable mining; removal and utilization of topsoil; storage of overburden, waste rock, etc.; precaution against ground vibrations; control of surface subsidence; precaution against air pollution; discharge of toxic liquid; precaution against noise; and restoration of flora, etc.

Ministry of Mines through the Indian Bureau of Mines has instituted the system of Star Rating for evaluation of sustainability footprints while conducting prospecting, mining, beneficiation, or metallurgical operations in an area. Under Rule 35 of MCDR 2017, every lessee is mandated to obtain at least a three-star rating within four years from 28.02.2017 or the date of commencement of mining operations and thereafter maintain the same on year on year basis.

Further, as per Rule 26 of MCDR 2017, every holder of a mining lease has the responsibility to ensure that the protective measures including reclamation and rehabilitation works have been carried out in accordance with the approved mine closure plan or with such modifications as approved by the competent authority.

Mining leases are encouraged to generate and use green energy. In this regard, the Indian Bureau of Mines has taken up a sample survey of 293 mines to map the installation of renewable energy plants and electricity consumption at the mine sites across the country. It was noted in the survey that the total installed renewable energy plant capacity at these mine sites is approx. 583 Megawatts (Wind and Solar).

This information was given by the Union Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi in a written reply in Rajya Sabha today.


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