13 private agencies obtain accreditation for mining exploration

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New Delhi: The Ministry of Mines said on Tuesday that 13 private exploration agencies have been accredited to undertake prospecting operations for minerals.

“With the amendment of the MMDR Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act in 2021, private agencies can also participate in the exploration of the mining sector after being duly accredited by QCI-NABET (National Accreditation Board for Education and Training of the Quality Council of India). So far, 13 private agencies have been accredited and subsequently notified by the central government,” the ministry said in a statement.

This brings the total number of government agencies engaged in mineral exploration to 22, he added.

Mineral Exploration and Consultancy Limited (MECL) pursues mineral exploration activities with funding from the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET). In addition to ongoing exploration work, MECL provides consultancy services to the Directorate of Geology and Mines (DGM) and the State Department of Mines and Geology (DMG) for the preparation of reports and other docs for exploitable blocks.

MECL is also engaged with the government of Rajasthan for a feasibility study of potash deposits in the western part of Rajasthan.

In August 2021, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 was amended to empower the central government to notify entities, including private entities, to undertake prospecting operations.

“The Ministry of Mines has adopted the Accreditation Scheme for Private Exploration Agencies developed by the National Accreditation Council for Quality Council of India Education and Training (QCI-NABET),” an official order reads. .

QCI-NABET will grant accreditation to private exploration agencies to undertake mineral prospecting operations in accordance with the program’s standards and procedures, it added.

“Interested private exploration agencies will be required to obtain accreditation in accordance with the scheme and then apply to the Ministry for notification under the second proviso of subsection (1) of section 4 of the Act”, said the Ministry of Mines.

This program aimed to unlock the economic potential of the mining sector by attracting more agencies into mineral exploration. It was also expected to increase the pace of exploration, create new employment opportunities in the sector and bring more explored blocks to auction.

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