Mineral development policy

According to the DGM director general the draft mineral development policy “… is for the development of the mining sector in a equitable, safe, more value added and environment friendly way.” Good.

The draft mineral development policy proposes to allow only “one mining lease to an individual or to a company”. Very good. I’m all for a healthy reduction in the number of mines in our country.

But wait a second, what about the Punatshangchu Hydropower Project Authority? Didn’t they recently apply for “three large quarries”? And what about Penden Cement? Surely they operate more than one mine. And Dungsum Cement? They’ll surely need more than one mine!

Incidentally, it seems that PHPA will not operate the quarries themselves. Instead they may just transfer their mining lease to the big three Indian Contractors – L&T, HCC and Gammon.

Which leads me to an important question: are foreign companies allowed to operate our mines?


Facebook Comments:


  1. Dear OL,

    I was shocked. My uncle who operates a mine in Samtse will go hungry and his family would be severely affected. Although the profit is bare minimal, many miners would be brought to street. Is this a policy of DPT and what about their slogan ‘equity & justice’?

    Rich – Richer, Poor – Poorer policy of Royal Government of Bhutan.

  2. Okay, So even mining stones from a hill is hi-tech and need a lot of experience that we need big Indian companies like HCC/L&T/Gammon? Isn’t this something Bhutanese contractors can do and supply to the companies?
    It would make them more focused on their actual constructions of Tunnels, Towers and Dams, which I agree cannot be done by Bhutanese companies.. But leave the quarrying and supplying for our brothers please..

    Ofcourse HCC/L&T/Gammon would even like to establish their own market if given the freedom. we know employment is even more worse in India and economy is hard down there as well.

  3. What’s with this Govt and coming up with wierd policies even before one has been established well enough. I am surprised theye ven talk about not having enough funds for real programs that make a difference in the community. Are they a planned item or something that the Govt. thought might be helpful for the future. I mean benefit and the cost of these policies. Don’t get me wrong. i know policies are important and especially one that has been evaluated not only from economic point of view but also from social and administrative cost. Hope this analysis has been done ahead of time. otherwise this is just another waste of time and money like the “liberalism of tourism in Bhutan”.
    nad honestly I would ratehr see a disaster management policy and plan .


  5. A government should be for the people, not against the people. The government should be providing equal opportunity and justice to all people.

    In our case, instead of creating opportunity for the people, the government and elected MPs are grabbing whatever opportunities are available to the ordinary citizens and our private sector. The Ministers, MPs and their relatives get the first priority like in the case of the excavating and machinery rental works. Whatever they are unable to take up goes to the Indian Contractors even though it can be easily taken up by our private sector. Given the situation, except for few well established and well connected big companies, our private sector will never grow – especially with such treatment from our own government and elected leaders.

    Is this the way we take care of our own people?

    And how will we ever achieve the most important goal of self reliance without a broad based private sector growth?

  6. Rules are made and the first one to break it, is the framer of the rules themselves. Ordinary citizens wait infinately to get any permits, whilst the Punatsangchu project contractors are farst trackked or procedures totally are ignored.
    Our govt. corporations can point their fingers at any river bed and collect sand and stone without going through the long and tedious process of acquiring the many permits and clearances that ordinary people are subjected to.Ever try getting a permit or a license and you will understand what I’m talking about. The journey is certainly an ardous one and one is totally overwhelmed by our legendry bureaucratic
    maze even equalling the days of the British Raj.
    If the call of the DPT govt. is for economic development, than I say to them to wake up, while there is still time, and practice your equity and justice and efficient service delivery.We are still waiting for something to happen.

  7. By the way,,,where can i download this new mineral development policy?…please let me know. m very much in need of this draft policy. thx.

  8. I think the amicable way to come out with win-win situation is by organizing consultative meeting bewteen the rule-makers and mining companies.

    The sypnosis of the meet could be used as a tool in bringing any changes in the document.

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