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Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021



  • GS 2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.



  • Recently, Ministry of Mines has notified the Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021 to amend the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017.


Key points

  • The MCDR (Mineral Conservation and Development Rules) have been framed under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 to provide rules regarding conservation of minerals, systematic and scientific mining, development of the mineral in the country and for the protection of environment.


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Amendment Rules

Use of drones

  • Rules prescribed that that all mining related plans shall be prepared by combination of Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) or by drone survey as may be specified by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM).
  • The amended rules provide for submission of digital images of mining area by lessees and Letter of Intent holders.
    • Lessees having annual excavation plan of 1 million tonne or more or having leased area of 50 hectare or more are required to submit drone survey images of leased area and up to 100 meters outside the lease boundary every year.
    • This step will not only improve mine planning practices, security and safety in the mines but also ensure better supervision of mining operations.
  • It requires submission of satellite images obtained from CARTOSAT-2 satellite.

Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021_40.1

Power to penalise

  • Power of taking action against incomplete or wrong or false information is given to IBM, in addition to State Govt.

Provision for small miners

  • It allows engagement of a part-time mining engineer or a part-time geologist for category ‘A’ mines having leased area below 25 hectares.
    • This will ease compliance burden for small miners.


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Mining degree

  • In order to increase employment opportunity, diploma in mining and mine surveying granted by duly recognized institute along with a second-class certificate of competency issued by the Director General of Mines Safety is added in qualification for full time Mining Engineer.

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Penal provisions

  • Penalty provisions in the rules have been rationalized. Amendment in the rules categorized the violations of the rules under the following major heads:
    • Major Violations: Penalty of imprisonment, fine or both.
    • Minor Violations: Penalty reduced. Penalty of only fine for such violations prescribed.
    • Violation of other rules has been decriminalized. These rules did not cast any significant obligation on the concession holder or any other person. Thus, violation of 24 rules has been decriminalized.

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Financial assurance

  • Amount of financial assurance increased to five lakh rupees for Category ‘A’ mines and three lakh rupees for Category ‘B’ mines from existing three and two lakh rupees, respectively.

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