Ministry of Mines Launches Scheme to Reimburse Exploration Expenses

Ministry of Mines Launches Scheme to Reimburse Exploration Expenses

The Ministry of Mines has launched a scheme to support mineral exploration by reimbursing a portion of exploration expenses to licence holders. This initiative aims to reduce exploration costs and encourage private sector participation.

Key Details

  1. Reimbursement Conditions
    • Licence holders receive a 50% reimbursement on exploration expenses for critical minerals, capped at Rs 20 crore.
    • Maximum cap can increase to Rs 24 crore if a G2 block is auctioned within three years.
  2. Repayment Terms
    • Amount received must be repaid within ten years, starting from mineral production or receiving auction premiums.
    • Lump sum payments require full repayment within one month.
  3. Funding Source
    • Funding is sourced from the Rs 5,000 crore National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) fund.

Implementation and Benefits

  • Policy Context: Aligned with the National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) of 2016 to leverage private sector expertise and resources.
  • Objectives: Mitigate exploration risks and attract domestic and international companies.

Operational Guidelines

  • Eligibility: Open to all licence holders, including non-notified private exploration agencies.
  • Stages of Reimbursement: Divided into six stages with specific reimbursement limits per stage.

Specific Reimbursement Limits per Stage

  • Geological mapping and sampling: Up to Rs 1.50 crore.
  • Geophysical investigations: Up to Rs 3 crore.
  • Exploratory drilling: Up to Rs 10 crore.
  • Chemical and petrological analysis: Up to Rs 2.50 crore.
  • Mineral beneficiation: Up to Rs 1.50 crore.
  • Research collaborations and consultancy services: Up to Rs 1.50 crore.

Logistics Expenses

  • Setting up camp offices and personnel hiring: Up to Rs 1.50 crore annually, capped at Rs 30 lakh per year.

Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) with Answers:

  1. What percentage of exploration expenses does the scheme reimburse to licence holders?
    • A) 25%
    • B) 50%
    • C) 75%
    • D) 100%
    • Answer: B) 50%
  2. Under the scheme, what is the maximum cap on reimbursement for exploration expenses?
    • A) Rs 10 crore
    • B) Rs 15 crore
    • C) Rs 20 crore
    • D) Rs 25 crore
    • Answer: C) Rs 20 crore
  3. From which fund is the funding for this scheme sourced?
    • A) National Exploration Fund
    • B) Mineral Development Fund
    • C) National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) fund
    • D) Exploration Incentive Fund
    • Answer: C) National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) fund