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piyuGovernment on Friday launched a portal for online filing of evaluation template for star rating of mines, which will prompt miners to quickly adopt sustainable practices for a higher rating.

“The move is aimed at having all mines in India meeting required parameters to achieve at least four-star rating in the next three years,” Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar said.

Power, Coal, Mines and New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal launched the web portal.

On the occasion, Goyal expressed hope that this portal will eventually increase transparency in the mining sector and address many issues of stakeholders, the public and miners.

Asked about the demand of raising Fe(iron) content level from 58 per cent to 62 per cent in iron ore for encouraging exports, Goyal said the ministry has written to the steel ministry on this, but the decision will be taken by the Finance Ministry.

At present, there is no export duty on iron ore with Fe content of up to 58 per cent.

Federation of Indian Mineral Industries Secretary General R K Sharma said the issue was raised in today’s meeting as there is a stock pile-up of 168 tonnes.

The online portal has been developed by IBM (Indian Bureau of Mining) through NISG (National Institute of Smart Government), Hyderabad.

The Ministry of Mines through IBM has launched the innovative scheme of star rating of mines, a powerful tool for implementation of the Sustainable Development Framework (SDF) in the mining sector.

It will help in collation of various technical, environmental and social data by IBM, which will be utilised to allow better management and monitoring of mining areas.

In the long run, it will enable formulation of Comprehensive Regional Plans to address cumulative impact in mining areas through coordinated and collective action.

The star rating is to be awarded initially on self-certification basis. Verification by IBM will be done later.

The Evaluation Template is designed to lay emphasis on scientific and systematic mining, addressing social impact of resettlement and rehabilitation, local community engagements and welfare programmes, progressive and final mine closure and adoption of international standards

Pilot star rating was awarded to 19 mines at the first National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in Raipur on July 4-5, 2016.

An apex committee has been constituted to facilitate and resolve issues in implementation of star rating under the chairmanship of the mines secretary and members from various ministries and reputed institutions.

The star rating is being considered to be included as statutory provision in the MCDR (Mineral Conservation and Development rules) for time-bound achievement of minimum 4 stars.

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