India has recently identified 100 blocks for exploration that will be offered to the private sector, in a new effort to boost the country’s mineral output and cut dependence on overseas purchases. The blocks cover a 12,000sq km area and could be rich in gold, iron ore, tin and tungsten, among other minerals.
Private explorers would get a share in the revenue from the successful bidder of a block, under the Union Mines Ministry’s new draft policy, Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said in a statement. The move is New Delhi’s latest effort to boost the country’s mineral output and cut dependence on overseas purchases.
Out of the mines to be auctioned, two are new and located in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, with combined gold ore reserves estimated at up to 3 million tonnes. The third asset to be auctioned would be the now abandoned Kolar mine, in Karnata, which was shut down 15 years ago due to high costs.