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?