Tag Archives: conservation

mineral conservation


Ministry of Mines has notified the Mineral Conservation and Development (Amendment) Rules, 2021 on 3rd November, 2021 to amend the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 2017 [MCDR].

The MCDR have been framed under section 18 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 [MMDR Act] to provide rules regarding conservation of minerals, systematic and scientific mining, development of the mineral in the country and for the protection of environment.

The amendment rules have been framed after extensive consultations with the State Governments, industry associations, miners, other stakeholders and general public. The highlights of amendments in the Rules are as follows:

(i) Rules prescribed that that all plans and sections related to mine shall be prepared by combination of Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) or Total Station or by drone survey in relation to certain or all leases as may be specified by Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM).

(ii) New Rule inserted to 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. Other lessees to submit high resolution satellite images. This step will not only improve mine planning practices, security and safety in the mines but also ensure better supervision of mining operations.

(iii) Requirement of submitting satellite images obtained from CARTOSAT-2 satellite LISS-IV sensor on the scale of cadastral map deleted in view of the insertion of provision for submission of high resolution Georeferenced Ortho-rectified Multispectral satellite and use of drone survey as per Rule 34A.

(iv) Provision of daily return omitted to reduce compliance burden. Power of taking action against incomplete or wrong or false information in monthly or annual returns given to IBM, in addition to State Govt.

(v) Allowed 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.

(vi) 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. Also, qualification for part time Mining Engineer added.

(vii) Penalty provisions in the rules have been rationalized. Previously, the rules provided for penalty of imprisonment upto 2 years or fine upto 5 lakh rupees or both for violation of each and every rule irrespective of the severity of the violation. Amendment in the rules categorized the violations of the rules under the following major heads:

  1. Major Violations: Penalty of imprisonment, fine or both.
  2. Minor Violations: Penalty reduced. Penalty of only fine for such violations prescribed.
  3. 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.

(viii) Provision of forfeiture of financial assurance or performance security of the lease holder added in case of non-submission of final mine closure plan within the period specified.

(ix) 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.

Notification of the Amendment Rule is available in the website of Ministry of Mines (www.mines.gov.in).

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A Life Among the Clouds

An exciting short documentary on tree kangaroos in Papua New Guinea.

Never knew of the existence of tree kangaroos anywhere. The normal thing you relate to when you hear about kangaroos are the hopping species found predominantly in Australia. This type of tree kangaroo is adept at climbing trees and very little is known about them.

So a scientist with the help of locals in Papua New Guinea traps a few tree kangaroos with the intention of fitting GPS tracking devices onto their necks and getting voluminous data that correlates to not only their behaviour but also other animals in the area, the trees, plants, wildlife etc.

Another lovely thing about the rain forests in Papua New Guinea is that all the land is owned by the locals only. It does’nt belong to the government or big corporates. So the locals have a big stake in protecting the environment, its habitat and retaining the ecosystem.

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Among the wild chimpanzees

Most breathtaking documentary on the legendary primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall and her path breaking work on chimpanzees. She arrived in Gombe National Park in then Tanganika (now Tanzania) and started studying the life of chimpanzees there. Being known as animals closest to humans, and known as intelligent animals having learnt to make and use tools for their daily use, Jane started observing them at close range all aspects of their life. Initially she was looking at them from a distance, but slowly over the years, she started moving closer to them to the point where human chimpanzee interaction started taking place, albeit in a very limited way. The chimpanzees started entering the human habitation for the store of bananas kept there and that allowed for a more closer and better study. This movie was shot in 1982, 22 years after Jane set foot in Africa but she has been at it for more than 6 decades now. They had some lovely close up video shots even from way back in the early 60s and that makes for a good viewing.

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The Drill Project

The Drill Project, a breathtaking documentary on conservation of drills a sub species of monkeys found in the Bioko Island of Equitorial Guinea. This species of monkeys is hunted for its meat and although illegal, the prices are high in the market for the drill meat. The Drill Project is a conservation effort backed by the government of Equitorial Guinea. The documentary focuses on life in general in the Bioko Island forest which is a spectacular rain forest with a rich diversity of life in it. The documentary traces the life of one adult monkey who is injured in a human trap and unless he recovers sufficiently in time to mate, his future generation would be wiped off from the face of the earth. The government is focusing on educating the villagers as well as organising eco tourism by employing local guides to take tourists into the forests so that they earn a living as well as consider forest their home to protect. It is a brilliant documentary to watch on youtube.

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