The Ministry of Mines is evaluating the possibility of an open acreage approach for mineral exploration in the country similar to the one launched by the Oil Ministry for oil and gas blocks.

At an industry interaction organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Arun Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, said, “We are conscious of OALP and our four member team has gone over to the Petroleum Ministry to understand if we can get some learning from them.”

But, the OAL approach for minerals will not be exactly similar to the one that has been enabled for oil and gas.

Kumar said, “In oil exploration, the minimum block size is 350 km sq and the level of risk in oil is much higher than in mineral, so both systems cannot be compared off the hook…So it is not that I am debunking the system, but any miner would know the difference between petroleum and mineral exploration. We will study the system and then we will see.”