New Delhi: Coal and Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Tuesday that due to several innovative initiatives taken by the Central government, including amendments in mining legislations, 190 major mineral blocks have been auctioned in the last seven years, adding that commercial mining has been a great success in the country.
In his inaugural address at the two-day conference on Indian Minerals and Metals Industry, Joshi said the Centre is making efforts to attract more private entrepreneurs into mineral exploration.
“Mineral exploration will be carried out without adverse environmental impact through enhanced use of drones and other latest technologies,” he said.
Referring to the fact that many PSUs hold on to coal blocks for several years, the minister urged them to start production from such blocks at the earliest and if they can’t, they should surrender the reserves to the ministry for re-auctioning.
Joshi said that through commercial coal mines auctions, an amount of Rs 25,000 crore in terms of additional revenue had been generated last year and Odisha stood first in revenue generation.
The minister also informed that coal production from captive mines is expected to touch 140 million tonnes this year, compared to 89 million tonnes recorded in the last fiscal.
Total coal production during this financial year is likely to touch 900 million tonnes, the minister added.