Ministry of Mines Propels Sustainable Mining Practices for Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav 2023

Posted On - 20 January, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


Under the inspiring direction of Union Minister of Coal, Mines, and Parliamentary Affairs Shri Pralhad Joshi, the Ministry of Mines unveiled a comprehensive plan as part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav 2023, marking a bold step towards sustainable mining.[1] The initiative highlights the Ministry’s dedication to reducing environmental impact and promoting ethical mining practices. It was revealed in a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) Delhi.

National Mineral Policy, 2019: Paving the Way for Sustainable Development

The National Mineral Policy, 2019, which places a strong emphasis on preventing and mitigating the negative environmental effects of mining operations, is the foundation of this initiative. The policy encourages mine development strategies to take into account the most recent scientific guidelines and contemporary afforestation techniques. These days, mining operations have to function within the confines of a comprehensive Sustainable Development Framework, which guarantees that social, economic, and environmental factors are integrated into all decisions pertaining to mines and minerals.

Renewable Energy Integration and Environmental Awareness

The use of renewable energy sources at mining sites is actively encouraged by the Ministry in an effort to lower pollution, carbon footprint, and operating costs. All employees participating in mining operations receive a variety of incentives, such as workshops on environmental issues and training to increase their awareness of environmental issues. This tactical approach is in line with international initiatives to shift to sustainable energy practices.

Legal Framework: Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR), 2017

The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, Section 18, is used by the Ministry to establish guidelines for the preservation of minerals, methodical development, and environmental protection. Rule 40 and Rule 43 of the 2017 Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR) emphasise air pollution prevention and establish allowable limits and standards for pollutants, toxins, and noise.

Stringent Clearances and Monitoring for Environmental Compliance

Leaseholders are required to obtain statutory clearances, licences, and approvals—including an environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MOEF&CC)—before they can begin mining operations. Under the Environment (Protection) Act of 1986, conditions for environmental clearance require the monitoring of fugitive emissions through accredited laboratories. It is mandatory for appropriate Air Pollution Control (APC) systems to adhere to specified fugitive and stack emission standards.

Monitoring and Mitigation: A Collaborative Approach

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB) keep a close eye on mine pollution levels to make sure that environmental regulations are being followed. In core and buffer zones, ambient air monitoring is done in compliance with CPCB regulations. Mechanised mines use a variety of techniques, such as using up-to-date, fuel-efficient equipment, keeping roads maintained, planting vegetation alongside haul roads, and using water sprinkling to suppress dust.

A Call for Responsible Mining: Shri Pralhad Joshi Addresses Rajya Sabha

This important information was communicated by Union Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi in a written response in the Rajya Sabha. He highlighted the Ministry’s steadfast dedication to ethical mining, stressing the significance of sustainable practices in determining the direction of the mining sector.

Aligning seamlessly with the ideals of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav 2023, the Ministry’s ground-breaking initiatives represent a significant step towards fostering environmental consciousness and sustainable development in the mining sector.