Mines Min proposes automatic lease to miners of gold, diamond

Times of India,29 July 2007 :

NEW DELHI: Seeking Rs 1,00,000 crore foreign capital in exploration of gold and diamond in next three years, the Mines Ministry has proposed automatic lease to firms willing to invest in such projects.

“We are importing 800 tonnes of gold worth Rs 65,000 crore and 475 million carats of diamonds worth Rs 75,000 crore annually, only because we have not effectively tapped reserves of these minerals,” Minister of State for Mines T Subbarami Reddy told media here.

The ministry is targeting foreign investment of Rs 1,00,000 crore in the next three years in the sector, he said.
Reddy said since domestic miners were unwilling to put capital on the pretext of such projects involving risks of not hitting the reserve, foreign companies have to be encouraged in mining of these precious minerals.

Though private miners came forward for reconnaissance permits, less than one per cent qualified for mining stage, he said, suggesting that domestic miners should join hands with foreign counterparts and take up exploration of these minerals.

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