The mines ministry on Thursday issued a notification to states to issue mining leases to companies that were granted Letters of Intent (LoIs) before commencement of the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.
The extraordinary gazette notification called ‘the Mines and Minerals )Development and Regulation) removal of Difficulties Order 2017 is likely to benefit about 70 mining leases that were earlier saved under section 10(a)2c of the act from lapsing next week.
The ministry’s notification tweaks norms to permit obtaining environment clearance for such mines after execution of the deeds. The mineral-rich state governments had issued LoIs to the mines about two years ago, while MMRDA necessitated that they be converted into mining leases before January 12, 2017.
The mines ministry’s notification follows an opinion from the office of Attorney General of India that said that the mines ministry should direct state governments to execute the pending leases before January 11. The order has asked state governments to accordingly process and expedite applications for grant of mining lease, incorporating conditions that companies can commence mining only after obtaining regulatory approvals from the union ministries of environment and forest and, tribal affairs. Read More…