New Delhi | President Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday stressed on scouting for minerals through deep sea mining.
The mines ministry had last month identified some offshore blocks for granting operational rights. "It is also important to explore prospects of minerals through deep sea mining," Murmu said in her address to Parliament.
Stating that the Deep Ocean Mission has been started with this goal in mind, she said that this mission will also better the understanding of marine life.
The quantity of important minerals on earth is limited, she said, adding "That is why my government is encouraging a circular economy. India's first 'Vehicle Scrappage Policy' also seeks to achieve this aim." In August last year, the government amended the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act (OAMDR) and introduced a transparent and non-discretionary auction process as the method of allocation of operating rights in the offshore areas.
To implement the provisions of the amended Act, the ministry framed two sets of draft rules -- Offshore Areas Mineral Auction Rules and Offshore Areas Existence of Mineral Resources Rules.
The main features of the draft Offshore Areas Mineral (Auction) Rules include granting of the composite license and production lease through an ascending forward online electronic auction.
The draft Offshore Areas Existence of Mineral Resources Rules proposes at least a G2 level of exploration (General Exploration) for considering a block for auction for production lease.
However, in the case of blocks of Construction Grade Silica Sand and Lime Mud or Calcareous Mud, an auction for product in lease can be made at the G3 level of exploration also, as per the draft rules.
For the grant of a composite license, the block should be explored up to the G4 level of exploration or the mineral potentiality of the mineral block should be identified.