Mining Current Affairs

India, Morocco sign MoU to promote mineral exploration

India and Morocco have signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the field of Mining and Geology for a period of 5 years to promote mineral exploration. It was signed in New Delhi after the bilateral discussions between Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and his Moroccan counterpart Aziz Rabbah.

Key Facts

Under this MoU, focus will be laid on evaluation of potential mineral resources and promoting exploration and mining through participation of both public and private sector. The focus of MoU is on development of geological infrastructure for Geoscience Maps and geochemical maps, strengthening geological research and evaluation of potential of mineral resources. Geological Survey of India (GSI) will assist Morocco in geological mapping and mineral exploration.

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Government launches Sand Mining Framework to check illegal extraction

The Union Ministry of Mines has launched Sand Mining Framework to help states deal with the sand mining issues, including demand supply deficit and illegal extraction. It was launched at the third National Conclave on Mines & Minerals held in New Delhi.

Key Facts

The main objective of framework is to assist states in arriving at best possible options before them. It also seeks to addresses issues of state objectives, demand-supply assessment and measures to sand availability, allocation model, transportation and monitoring mechanism. Besides, it also includes suggestions for faster clearances and approvals and using its interventions in complete process chain of sand mining. It also lays emphasis on alternatives of sand i.e. manufactured sand, import of sand etc.

Need for framework

Sand is an important component for housing, infrastructure projects and construction activities. There have been various issues across the country in mining activities related to sand like non availability of sand, environmental degradation, high sand prices, illegalities in sand mining etc. The natural endowment of sand across many states is unable to meet the demand and is coupled with unease of extraction issues, pricing and illegalities in mining. So there was need of uniform framework to help states to frame their policies, taking into consideration their objectives, endowments and state deployment of resources.

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