India is endowed with large mineral resource and has geological environment for many others on account of similarity of geological set up with other countries.
Exploration for deep and concealed deposits is a cost-intensive and high-risk enterprise which requires excellent expertise.
Under the new National Mineral Exploration Policy private agencies would be engaged to carry out exploration with the right to a certain share in the revenue from the successful bidder of mineral block after e-auction, which will be discovered by that private explorer.
Before the MMDR Amendment Act, 2015, private sector was shy of investment in this sector. It has brought in transparency in allocation of mineral concessions in terms of Prospecting License and Mining Lease.
Under NMEP, the revenue sharing could be either in the form of a lump sum or an annuity, to be paid throughout the period of mining lease, with transferable rights.
In view of this amendment, the efforts made by the govt agencies require to be extensively supplemented with the expertise and technological innovations available worldwide with the private sector.
Government will also work out normative cost of exploration works for different kinds of minerals. This will be an added incentive for exploration agencies to mitigate their risk of exploration.
The selection of private explorer is proposed to be done following a transparent process of competitive bidding.