The government is planning to put as many as 280 mines with a mineral wealth of over Rs 10 lakh crore to auction in the next fiscal. As many as 21 mining leases have already been auctioned so far with a cumulative resource value of around Rs 94,000 crore. The Mines Ministry has already facilitated the auction process extending support from IBM and Geological Survey of India (GSI), and various PSUs such as MSTC, MECON, MECL and SBICAP. Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha are among the states preparing for the auction of mineral blocks like iron ore, bauxite and limestone in the next financial year. The blocks to be available for auction are under the New Exploration Policy.
Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar has said that there are 83 mines under litigation and auction of these mines depends upon the outcome of the legal process. He also said that drone technology will be used for monitoring of mining in any area and IBM will start this. This will help in preparing topography maps in few hours, which takes many days manually.
Kumar further said that 'Drones will also save the time consumed in manual inspection. We can also verify the claims of the industry. For instance, they are saying that they have mined 10 lakh tonnes of mineral. We would be able to know about the exact quantity in one hour using a drone. This will be used for new as well as old mines.