Saturday, Jul 13 2024 | Time 19:20 Hrs(IST)
Business Economy

New mining reforms to be announced in next 6-8 weeks: Anil Kumar Jain

Kolkata, Nov 13 (UNI) In continuance to the recent announcement on opening commercial
coal mining to private players and unlocking 500 blocks in non-coal minerals, the government
has announced that the new mining reforms will get adopted in the statute book in next 6-8
The government is laying down a robust framework to enhance productivity and reduce
environmental impact with a specific focus on sustainability to be embedded at the core
of the mining operations, Anil Kumar Jain, Secretary, Union Ministry of Coal announced
on Thursday in a CEOs Virtual Roundtable on ‘Propelling the Mining Industry forward
through Sustainable Technologies to enable 'Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’, organised by
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and supported by
“We expect commercialisation of mines to bring competitiveness and a level-playing
field between PSUs and private players. Our aim is to encourage industry players to
adopt sustainable technology solutions including green mining, coal ash ponds and
other newer technology vehicles that can further accelerate the productivity with the
economy of scale and also better environmental performance.” said Mr Jain.
Currently, India imports coal from countries including Australia, Indonesia and South
Africa. With the commercialization of coal blocks announced as a part of the Aatma
Nirbhar Bharat Scheme, India is set to keep the coal imports at a minimum level.
According to Mr. Jain, the adoption of new-age technologies in Indian mines with
high capacity can self-sustain domestic energy requirements and significantly reduce
the environmental impact. These new-age innovative technologies also have the
potential to empower the country to become an export hub for coal.
During the virtual roundtable, Mr Jain had an open dialogue with CEOs to understand
how mining firms can adopt to the changing environmental conditions and optimise the
various streams of operations through innovative technology solutions while complying
with the requisite standards of safety and health.
With the quantum of reserves in the country, India has a huge scope to increase the
contribution of the mining sector and adopt a higher degree of mechanisation e.g.
environment-friendly continuous mining that can enable significant growth in the short
The panel discussion also highlighted that with the commercialization of mines, more
investment would be flowing from the private players on upgradation of infrastructure
near the mining vicinity, thereby retaining the skill set in states. In the next 5 to 6 years,
the mining sector is said to increase direct employment by 7 Lakhs and indirect
employment by over 20 Lakhs, creating a major boost for India’s economy.
Commenting on the technology innovations in the mining sector, Vivek Bhatia, MD
& CEO, thyssenkrupp Industries India said, “A broad range of technologies are available
today which can ensure competitive mining while ensuring minimal environmental impact
even permitting the elimination of blasting in several cases. These technology solutions
provide a continuous mining system that can work round the clock along with conveyor
systems without any intermediate handling, improving operational safety and reducing
OPEX significantly. Additionally, the life cycle cost of such systems is significantly lower
than the present systems along with improved carbon footprints.”
While the industry has been evolving over the last two decades, progress in terms of
higher efficiency and better social and environmental performance has been hampered
by a number of factors, including the persistence of conventional technologies and
business models.
The major costs in the present system of mining in India largely consist of drilling,
blasting, fuel and consumables. With the adoption of modern systems, the cost of
drilling and blasting can be avoided and OPEX cost can be significantly reduced by
employing electrically operated continuous systems.
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