Centre unveils Internet portal for online tracking of mines

August 19, 2016 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Labourers carry coal at a stockyard of an underground coal mine in the Mahanadi coal fields at Dera, near Talcher town in the eastern Indian state of Orissa March 28, 2012. India sits on the world's fifth-largest coal reserves, and produces the most after China and the United States. Picture taken March 28, 2012. To match INDIA-COAL/ REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY EMPLOYMENT)

Labourers carry coal at a stockyard of an underground coal mine in the Mahanadi coal fields at Dera, near Talcher town in the eastern Indian state of Orissa March 28, 2012. India sits on the world's fifth-largest coal reserves, and produces the most after China and the United States. Picture taken March 28, 2012. To match INDIA-COAL/ REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri (INDIA - Tags: BUSINESS ENERGY EMPLOYMENT)

The Ministry of Mines unveiled a web portal for the easy access to information regarding the mining sector in India, including a framework for rating mines.

“The Ministry, through the Indian Bureau of Mines, has developed a template for the star rating of mines,” Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar said at the launch function. “The web portal will have all the ratings of the mines and will also have information of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) for the mining sector.”

The star rating system, which rates mines out of five stars, is a two-layered system based on a self-evaluation by the mine operator, which is then validated by the Indian Bureau of Mines under the Ministry of Mines.

“There will be random third-party checks to see whether the information provided by the operators is correct, and there should be penalties for those providing false information,” Mines Minister Piyush Goyal said, also speaking at the event. The star rating system will be based on parameters such as efforts taken to mitigate environmental impact of the mines and to resettle and rehabilitate the people affected and the adoption of international standards for mining operations and reporting.

“The main objective of this system is to bring all mines to minimum 4- or 5-star rating in the shortest possible time,” Mr. Kumar said. Mr. Goyal also asked Ministry officials to ensure that by March 31 mine operators also upload all relevant permissions from the government onto the portal.

Iron ore duty

Mr. Goyal added that the Ministry of Steel was still looking into relaxation of export duties on iron ore.

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