Mineral Wealth Unearthed: Analyzing India’s Mining Policies


India’s mineral reserves are amongst the largest there exist in the world. Yet, mineral security is a formidable challenge in India. What are the factors leading to this? Is it the policy or the implementation, is it the people or the government or some special interest groups (mafias) who are exploiting the sector, or perhaps a trust deficit among various stakeholders? 

This paper delves into understanding the dynamics of the mining sector. It goes on to analyze the current policies and the challenges that the sector faces. The paper further delves into understanding the environmental and socio-economic impact of mining. At last, it suggests measures to improve the well-being of the mining sector- measures about improving the state of communities involved, curbing environmental degradation, controlling illegal mining, and increasing India’s mineral turnout.

Keywords: Mining in India, National Mineral Policy of 2008 and 2019, Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill of 2023, Socio-economic and Environmental Impact


As India transitions towards a clean energy economy and aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070, the nation is shifting from traditional hydrocarbon resources to clean energy technologies. India is trying to make technologies such as solar photovoltaic (PV) plants, wind farms, and electric vehicles (EVs) a more visible part of our lives. This requires a resilient supply chain of minerals. However, after the pandemic and with the changing world dynamics, a politicization of transnational supply chains has been observed. This poses a roadblock to India’s green growth. 

India’s 2022-23 exports of minerals amounted to Rs. 2,04,223.11 crores, and only Rs. 15,424.33 crores excluding precious stones. Notably, India’s obvious geological potential  (OGP) blocks contain around 1,000,000 sq. km of gold, 3,000,000 sq. km of diamond, 1,600,000 sq. km of base metals, 8,000 sq. km of PGEs, and 5,000 sq. km of iron ores. A rough estimate indicates that less than 2% is mined and less than 10% has been explored. Hence, there is plenty of opportunity for India in the mining sector from an economic point of view. India needs an effective mining policy focusing on mineral discovery and balancing economic development, environmental sustainability, and social well-being.

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Author: Vaani