Home Articles G-tech to bring greater transparency in mineral administration

G-tech to bring greater transparency in mineral administration

Ranjan Sahai
Controller of Mines
Indian Bureau of Mines
V. K. Misar
Senior Mining Geologist
Indian Bureau of Mines –

Even though India is rich in minerals, the contribution of mining sector is very meager, with very low expenditure incurred towards prospecting and exploration. The geospatial-based Mining Tenement System, being implemented by Indian Bureau of Mines, is poised to bring greater transparency in the administration of minerals in India

India is blessed with a very rich and diversified geological history right form pre-cambrian times to recent times. As a result, various types of mineral deposits occur in India. At present, 89 minerals, including fuel minerals, atomic minerals, metallic and non-metallic minerals and minor minerals are mined in India.

The contribution of Indian mining industry in the national GDP is around 2.35%. Even though India is rich in minerals, the contribution of mining sector is very meager. The expenditure incurred towards prospecting and exploration is significantly less as compared to other developed countries. This has received the attention of planners at National level.
In National Mineral Policy 2008, it is recommended that the Indian Bureau of Mines should prepare a tenement registry in collaboration with the Geological Survey of India and the prospective investors should be informed about what is available for grant of Reconnaissance Permit (RP) / Prospecting Licence (PL) and Mining Lease (ML).
Considering the recommendations of the National Mineral Policy, 2008 and to attract investment in mining sector, both FDI and domestic, the Government of India decided to develop a Web-based system which will display the information in such a way that the prospective investor will know what is available for grant of RP / PL and ML form his office at the click of the mouse.

This information is available at different offices of the Central and State Governments. The prospective investor should know where he can apply and where he cannot apply for obtaining RP / PL and ML. Therefore, the Web-based system will be developed in such a way that positive as well as negative information will be made available so that decision making is facilitated.
The Government of India has entrusted the responsibility of implementation a project of the Web-based system, called Mining Tenement System (MTS) to Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM). IBM has initiated the work of implementation of the project in the XII plan. The article deals with salient features of MTS which will go a long way to bring greater transparency in the the administration of minerals in India.

MTS Concept
The first and foremost thing to be considered in this regard is the geological environment where a search for a particular mineral can be made. This will be achieved by displaying the regional geological maps on a scale of 1:50,000 prepared by the Geological Survey of India. The satellite imagery layer will also be made available. This will help in identifying the favourable metalogenic epochs and provinces for searching the particular mineral deposit. Next is the exploration activities carried out by the Geological Survey of India, state directorates of geology and mining, other central and public sector undertakings, and data available with the Government after the statutory locking period in the form of metadata. The prospective investor can the approach the concerned organization and will be free to obtain the data as per the policy of that organization. Thus, the registry component and its corresponding GIS component will be available in seamlessly integrated manner.

The second most important aspect is where a prospective investor is restricted for applying for RP / PL and ML. This aspect will be achieved by displaying the information both in textual and graphical way. The information pertaining to RP / PL and ML already granted, restricted area for grant of mineral concessions like areas reserved for Public Sector Undertaking, forest areas, areas declared as Tribal Areas by the State Governments falls under this category.
In addition, there is certain information like old mining history, abandoned / surrendered / relinquished area from the existing mineral concessions which may be of interest to prospective investors due to improvement in technology will be displayed.

The Government of India has identified twelve mineral rich states for implementation of the Mining Tenement System. These States include Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. All States except Tamil Nadu have entered into MoU with IBM for implementation of the Mining Tenement System. Three options are available for adoption to States viz. full adoption of MTS solution, adoption of selected modules of MTS and provide requisite data to MTS in electronic form without adopting any MTS module.

Indian Bureau of Mines, in association with NIC, hired the services of M/s Ernst & Young for preparation of DPR and RFP for the project. The DPR was approved in the meeting of the Core Committee under the Chairmanship of the Secretary (Mines) and RFP for the project is floted on the CPPP portal.
The Mining Tenement System is on-line system to e-enable various concession processes on-line. The main objectives of MTS are:
• To enable systematic management of data on mineral concessions
• Increase transparency and reduce delay in mineral concession application processing
• Facilitate quick access to information

• Facilitate monitoring and evaluation
• Increase efficiency in concession management.
All these objectives will be achieved through automation, integration and standardization of of various process of mineral concession life cycle right from identification of area for applying for grant of PL/ML by studying the regional geological maps from the Geological Survey of India, getting familiar with the exploration carried out in the area, grant of mineral concessions, carrying out monitoring and inspection as per Statute to finally closure of mine as indicated in following diagram.

The present procedure for grant of mineral concession is depicted in following diagram.

The following activities are performed in post grant stage of mineral concession.

All these activities will be computerized through MTS and will be Web enabled as indicated below.

The post grant activities will be facilitated through MTS by developing the web enabled software for carrying out the same on-line as given in following diagram.

The data generated through MTS will be utilized for various purposes like updation of National Mineral Inventory as per UNFC, publishing of mineral statics, publication of IMYB and other publications of IBM as indicated in following diagram.

The software for registry and GIS components will be developed simultaneously and integrated seamlessly.

The following information will be displayed through Mining Tenement System. This information will facilitate the prospective investor to know what is available for grant of RP / PL and ML.

After development the MTS will look as indicated below:
• Khasara map with layer of mining leases superimposed.

• Layer of Khasara map, lease map and regional geological map

• Khasara map, satellite imagery and lease map.

• Toposheet, khasara map, lease map and satellite imagery

It can be concluded from the this discussion that it is possible to design and develop a Web-based system by adopting a collective approach involving Central and State Government and other stake holders for development of the mining industry of the country.