THE MINERAL CONCESSION RULES – 1960
The Central Government made these rules in exercise of power conferred by Section13 of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957. This rule is applicable to all minerals including Coal, lignite, atomic minerals etc. and deals with procedure for grant of Prospecting Licence (PL) and Mining Lease (ML) of major minerals only. It does not apply to oil fields or minor minerals. Minor minerals are notified by Central Government from time to time, for which the State Governments, frame rules for issuing permits, licences etc.The salient features of these rules are outlined hereunder-
- Chapters II, III and IV contain rules for the grant of reconnaissance permits as well as grant and renewal of PL and ML only in respect of the land in which the minerals vest with the Government of India.
- Rule 4 through Rule 7 of Chapter II lay down the procedure for the grant of reconnaissance permit by the State Governments along with the conditions of reconnaissance permit, which include that the permit holder has to obtain permission to enter ‘forest land’ for reconnaissance purpose, under the Forest (Conservation) Act.
- Rules 8 to 21 in Chapter III lay down the procedure for the grant/renewal of prospecting license, conditions of prospecting license, security deposit, etc. The conditions relating to environmental mitigation measures are laid down in Sub-rule 1(x) of Rule 14. These are as given below-
The licensee shall
(a) take immediate measures for planting in the same area or any other area selected by the Central or State Government not less than twice the number of trees destroyed by reasons of any prospecting;
(b) look after them during subsistence of the license after which these shall be handed over to the State Forest Department or any other authority as may be nominated by the Central or State Government; and
(c) restore to the extent possible, other flora destroyed by prospecting operations.
- Sub Rule 2(A)(iii) of Rule 14 imposes restrictions on felling of the trees on unoccupied and unreserved Government land.
- Sub Rule 2(A)(v) of Rule 14 imposes restrictions on operations in reserved or protected forests.
- Rules 22 through Rule 46 relate to the grant/renewal of mining lease and related issues. Sub Rule 5 of Rule 22 outlines that the following details are to be shown on the mine plans-
* Extent of mining operations
* Geological details, mineral reserves
* Area under manual mining and under mechanized mining separately
* Natural water courses, forest areas with diversity of trees, assessment of impact on forest land surface and other environmental parameters including air and water pollution.
- Rule 27, Sub Rule (1)(s) lays down the conditions that relate to environmental protection in the mining operations. These are outlined below-
The lessee shall
* Take immediate measures for planting in the same area or any other area selected by the Central or State Government not less than twice the number of trees destroyed by reasons of any mining operations;
* Look after them during the subsistence of the lease after which these trees shall be handed over to the state Forest Department or any other authority nominated by the Central or state Government; and
* Restore, to the extent possible other flora destroyed by the mining operations.
- Rule 22, Sub Rule (2) states that a mining lease may contain such other conditions as the State Government may deem necessary in regard of the following, namely –
* The compensation for damage to the land covered by the lease
* The felling of trees
* The entering or working in a reserved or protected forest.