Current Affairs

Centre finally defines ‘Illegal Mining’

The Centre has in its recent amendment inserted a clause in the Minerals Concession Rules (MCR) explaining ‘illegal mining’. “Illegal mining means any reconnaissance or prospecting or mining operation undertaken by any person or a company in any area without holding a reconnaissance permit or a prospecting licence, or as the case may be, a mining lease, as required under the Act.”

To control the menace of illegal mining, the Centre has amended the Mineral Concession Rules (MCR) and have vested powers with the state governments to cancel licences if a person holding the lease is convicted of carrying out unauthorised mining.‬ ‬

“If the lessee holding the mining lease or a licensee holding a prospecting licence, is convicted of illegal mining and there are no interim orders of any court of law suspending the operation of the order … the state government may cancel such prospecting licence and forfeit whole or part of the security deposit,” the Mines Ministry said. 

Amending the MCR, the Mines Ministry in a notification said that the state governments, prior to cancelling the licence, should give opportunity to the applicant to explain his stance. 
Amending another provision in the MCR, the Ministry in its notification dated July 26 said the state government may also “refuse to renew” mining lease in the event of an applicant for renewal of mining lease is convicted of illegal mining.

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