In yet another attempt to check the menace of illegal mining, the Ministry of Mines on Friday launched the online Registration and Reporting Systems to facilitate the submission of monthly returns of iron ore. The system would be upgraded to cover all the minerals by September this year.

The new initiative was unveiled by the Minister of State for Mines Dinsha J. Patel. The focus of the new system will be on submission of monthly returns for iron and manganese ore mines throughout the country and for all other minerals would be covered by September 2012.

“In future, the system will be linked to Railways and Ports Authorities to check the correctness of the reporting made under the rule,’’ he added.

Over a period of time, it has come to the knowledge of the Ministry that malpractices in mining sector have increased due to poor governance at State level leading to number of cases of illegal mining. The mineral thus produced, came into mineral market by trading, stocking, procurement by end-users or exporting. This forced the Government to take stringent measures for monitoring the mining and mineral transaction in order to control malpractices in this sector.

The new amended Rule 45 of MCDR, 1988 specifies the penal action against defaulting mine owners and empowers the Government to order for suspension of all mining operations and may revoke the order of suspension after ensuring proper compliance, take action to initiate prosecution and recommend for termination of mining lease.

It further specifies that in case of defaulters engaged in trading or storage or end use or export of minerals, the State Government is empowered to order for suspension of trading license, all transport permits issued, storage license for stocking minerals and permits of end use industry, etc.

The reporting system is designed to generate violation letters automatically and issue the same to the defaulters who fail to submit the returns by the stipulated date of 10th of every month. In order to ensure tighter implementation, State Governments would be partnered for compliance of traders, stockists, exporters and end-users.

The reporting system is divided into two parts. Part-I covers the general information in addition to the employment details. Part-II of the monthly reporting system deals with the grade wise production, dispatches, stock and justification for increase/decrease of production and sale price of minerals.