In a bid to attract private sector investment into exploration of non-fuel and non-coal minerals, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP).
To implement the NMEP in totality, an amount of Rs. 2,116 crore is required over five years, said Minister for Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar. The NMEP envisages acreages to be auctioned to private companies on a revenue-sharing model. Exploration companies will recoup their investments from a share of the revenue accruing to States after the mineral reserves are proven, the acreages are auctioned and production begins. The policy also provides for the creation of a National Geo-scientific Data Repository. The government will also carry out National Aero-geophysical Programme for acquiring baseline data for targeting concealed mineral deposits.