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Sat, 21st May 2016 (Source:The New Indian Express)
Union Minister of State for Steel and Mines Vishnu Deo Sai on Friday emphasised on a comprehensive approach for sustained growth of mining industry so that the potential benefits of the sector are realised.
Inaugurating the Assocham conference on ‘Mining in Odisha’, Sai said mining is one of core sectors and a barometer of overall health of economy and industrial output. A vibrant mining industry is a bedrock of any industrial nation particularly when it is endowed with huge mineral potential.
“While we have come a long way in terms of technology upgradation and modernisation, there is still a lot of potential left for improvement. We have set up the National Mineral Exploration Trust and hope it would help increase the production,” he said.
The number of mines, which reported mineral production (excluding minor minerals), petroleum (crude), natural gas and atomic minerals was 3,318 in 2015 as against 3,722 last year. Of 3,318 reporting mines, 173 were located in Odisha.
Praising the Odisha Government for becoming the first State to auction iron ore mine after the amendment of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, he hoped the State would speed up the auction process and increase production.
On the new National Mineral Exploration Policy, he said provisions have been made to allow private companies to participate in exploration work as the Government prepares to auction more and more blocks to augment mineral production in a new mining regime.
Odisha’s Minister of State for Steel and Mines Prafulla Kumar Mallik said Odisha is the first State in the country to issue rules for the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) - a body created to bring far reaching changes in India’s mining regulations.
“The total production of minerals during 2015-16 was 234.82 million tonne with despatch of 240 million tonne which is the highest production in the last 10 years. Odisha has also become the highest supplier of major minerals like iron ore, coal, bauxite and chrome which has facilitated the steel production of 20.38 million tonne as against 11.57 million tonne in 2014-15,” he said.
CEO (Aluminium Business) of Vedanta Ltd Abhijit Pati urged for developing a world class Mining Research Centre in Odisha so that a coordinated effort can be initiated by the Centre to work in the direction of a vibrant and responsible mining drive for the State. Principal Secretary of Steel and Mines Department R K Sharma and Chairman of Assocham National Council on Mines and Mineral and Nalco CMD TK Chand also spoke.