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Mineral Resources and its effect on Environment

In this article we will discuss Mineral Resources and its effect on Environment

Mineral Resources and its effect on Environment

Significance
The economic development of a country depends, to a great extent. On the availability of minerals, got as ores from the earth by mining Coal and iron are the basic minerals which man needs to develop iron and steel industry. Minerals like mica, copper, lead and zinc are of vast economic importance. Thorium and uranium are atomic energy minerals.

Position of Minerals in India
India is rich endowed with minerals like coal, bauxite, barytes, iron, one mica, gypsum, chromite, dolomite and limestone while it is deficient in minerals like asbestos, phosphates, lead, tungsten, tin platinum group of metals, gold and diamonds.

Need for an Appropriate Policy
An appropriate policy regarding extraction of minerals is needed in view of the limited
availability and nature of minerals as under:
(1) Mineral resources are finite and non-renewable.
(2) Mineral resources constitute raw materials for many basic industries.
(3) Mineral resources are major resources of nations development.

National Mineral Policy
In view of the above Nations Mineral Policy has been adopted which encompasses the
various Policy Guidelines, which have been issued from time to time. The policy also
emphasizes certain new aspects and elements as under:
(1) Mineral Exploration in the seabed,
(2) Development of proper inventory,
(3) Proper linkage between exploitation of minerals and development of mineral
industry,
(4) Preference to members of the scheduled tribes for development of small deposits in
scheduled areasm
(5) Protection of forests, environment and ecology from the adverse effects of mining,
(6) Enforcement of mining plan for adoption of proper mining methods.
(7) Optimum utilizations of minerals, export of minerals in value added form and
recycling of metallic scrap and mineral waste.
Under the constitution, mineral rights and administration of Mining Laws are vested
in State Governments. The Central Government, however, regulated development of minerals under the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 and the rules and regulations framed under it. The statute empowers the Centre to formulate rules for the following:
(i) The grant of prospective licences and mining leases;
(ii) The conservation and development of minerals;
(iii) The modification of old leases.

The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957, was amended in
1972 and major amendments were made in February 1987. The Mineral Concession Rules, 1960, 1958 was replaced by more comprehensive rules in 1988.

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