Pralhad Joshi calls for restructuring NMET as autonomous body to boost mineral exploration

  • ‘Focus on extending more financial assistance to states’
  • ‘Mineral exploration is an integrated process that requires huge fund and NMET fund contribution was meant for exploration activities in the country’

New Delhi: Minister for Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi has urged the officials of the Ministry of Mines to bring about further momentum in restructuring the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) as an autonomous body. He was addressing the third governing body meeting of the trust on Saturday. The minister pointed out that in a resource-rich country like India, all efforts should be made to give further fillip to mineral exploration so that imports can be curtailed. Joshi said that stringent conditions, if any, in the field of mineral exploration needs to be removed in order to attract more firms to this sector.

‘Need to create competition amid mineral-rich states for enhanced exploration’

Chairing the governing body meeting, the minister stressed upon the need to focus on the exploration of gold and rare earths along with other segments of India’s mineral exploration efforts. Joshi underscored the need to streamline the system of extending financial assistance to states, especially the mineral-rich states for enhanced exploration. The creation of an atmosphere of competition among states to step up exploration is also needed, the minister pointed out. The interaction with states to encourage mining exploration needs to be more frequent and result-oriented, Joshi added.

The meeting was held for a periodical review and policy directions of NMET. The minister informed the meeting that mineral exploration is an integrated process that requires huge fund and NMET fund contribution was meant for exploration activities in the country. He also advised state government agencies to come out with detailed and concrete plans for regional exploration of minerals.


The Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 as amended in 2015, has introduced transparent and competitive auction process for grant of mineral concessions. It also provided for establishment of the NMET to give impetus to the mineral exploration activities. 

The NMET fund is being utilised for undertaking studies for mineral development, regional and detailed exploration with special emphasis on strategic and critical minerals, aerial geophysical survey of obvious geological potential (OGP) and adjoining areas of India, sustainable mining with adoption of advanced scientific and technological practices and mineral extraction metallurgy. It also facilitates exploration activities in such a manner that areas explored can be taken up for grant of mineral concessions in accordance with the provisions of the Act.

The meeting was attended by Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Railways Raosaheb Patil Danve, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space Dr Jitendra Singh. Minister of Mineral Resources Department of Madhya Pradesh Brajendra Pratap Singh and Minister of Mines and Mineral of Assam Jogen Mohan also participated in the crucial meeting.

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