India’s draft national mineral policy proposes exploration incentives

Date: Jan 16, 2018
India’s Mines Ministry has unveiled the draft National Mineral Policy (NMP) 2018, which proposes to offer mineral exploration companies the right of first refusal at the auction of any area explored by them.

The draft NMP, which is now open for feedback from industry and stakeholders, maintains that a first right of refusal will incentivise global exploration majors to invest in exploration projects in the country.

The Mines Ministry has said that the NMP is open for suggestions on any additional incentives, as per globally accepted principles, that will enable global mining exploration and production majors to step up investments in the country.

The Ministry earlier proposed that, while exploration companies on completion of their project will be reimbursed for costs incurred, they will have to compete with other bidders at an auction to take their project forward.

However, in the course of consultations with international resource majors, including Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton, officials in the Mines Ministry veered round to the conclusion that a mere reimbursement of costs of high-risk exploration projects without a composite licence for development after exploration, will not attract investment by many companies.

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