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Mines and Minerals Amendment Bill, 2023

2023 AUG 5

Preliminary   > Economic Development   >   Indian Economy and Issues   >   Energy

Why in news?

  • The Rajya Sabha has passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 for making amendments to the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957.


  • The MMDR Act, 1957 was amended in 2015 to introduce auction-based mineral concession allocation for transparency, create District Mineral Foundation (DMF) for the welfare of affected communities, establish National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) to promote exploration, and impose stricter penalties for illegal mining.
  • The Act was further amended in 2016 and 2020 to address specific emergent issues and was last amended in 2021 to bring further reforms in the sector, such as, removing the distinction between captive and merchant mines, etc.
  • However, the mineral sector required more reforms particularly for increasing exploration and mining of Critical Minerals that are essential for economic development and national security in the country.
  • The lack of availability of the critical minerals or concentration of their extraction or processing in a few geographical locations may lead to supply chain vulnerabilities and even disruption of supplies.
  • Critical minerals have gained significance in view of India's commitment towards energy transition and achieving Net-Zero emission by 2070.

Key Provisions under the Bill:

  • Private Sector to Mine Atomic Minerals:
    • The Bill allows the private sector to mine six out of 12 atomic minerals such as lithium, beryllium, niobium, titanium, tantalum and zirconium.
    • When it becomes an Act, Centre will have powers to auction mining lease and composite licence for critical minerals such as gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, nickel etc.
  • Auction for Exploration Licence:
    • The state government grants licences through competitive bidding, while the Central government prescribes auction details.
  • Maximum Area in which Activities
    • Bill allows activities under a single exploration licence in an area of up to 1,000 square kilometres.
  • Incentive for Exploration License:
    • The state conducts auctions for mining leases if resources are proven after exploration. Licensee receives a share in the auction value of the mining lease for prospected minerals.


Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding ‘Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023’?

1. It allows the private sector to mine six atomic minerals.

2. The exploration licence will be granted by the state government through competitive bidding.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2