Environmental aspects of quarrying of minor minerals

Mining of minor minerals, though individually, because of smaller size of mine leases is perceived to have lesser impact as compared to mining of major minerals. However, the activity as a whole is seen to have significant adverse impacts on environment. It is, therefore, necessary that the mining of minor minerals is subject to simpler but strict regulatory regime and carried out only under an approved framework of mining plan, which should provide for reclamation and rehabilitation of the mined out areas. Further, while granting mining leases by the respective State Governments, location of any eco-fragile zone(s) within the impact zone of the proposed mining area, the linked Rules/Notifications governing such zones and the judicial pronouncements, if any, need be duly noted. The Union Ministry of Mines along with Indian Bureau of Mines and respective State Governments should therefore make necessary provisions in this regards under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and adopt model guidelines to be followed by all the States.

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