Context: The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has recently flagged the issue of illegal transportation of manganese ore leading to massive loss of revenue in Odisha.
About the news
- In November 2022, the Ministry of Steel and Mines had alerted the Odisha Government about the under-reporting of grades of chromite and manganese ores.
- It had recommended the State Government come up with Standard Operating Procedure for preventing loss of revenue due to declaration of higher-grade ores as lower grade.
What is under–reporting?
- Under-reporting of grades of minerals is a serious issue and causes loss to State exchequer by way of lower collection of various payments such as auction premium, royalty, district mineral foundation funds and national mineral foundation trust.
Responsibility to frame laws:
- As per Section 23C of MMDR Act, State Governments are empowered to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals.
- It is the responsibility of the State Governments to establish the correct grade of mineral being dispatched and change action premium, royalty and other payments on the correct grade of mineral.
- As per ule 45(7)(b) and (c) of the Mineral Conservation and Development Rules (MCDR), 2017, the state government can suspend licence / permit in case it is found that the person or the company engaged in trading or storage or end-use submits incomplete or false information in monthly or annual returns – the trading companies have managed to go with impunity without submitting any timely returns.
Odisha’s Mineral Resources
- Odisha is a mineral-rich State having 96.12% of the country’s chrome ore, 51.15% bauxite reserve of India, 33.61% of hematite iron ore and 43.64% of manganese.
- Manganese ore containing 25% Mn content and below is considered to be low grade and are generally priced much lower.
- Auctions are finalised and mines are leased out on the basis of highest bid premium per tonne of ore offered by the private bidders.
- The price of ore with less than 25% Manganese content is ₹3,228 while the same for ore containing Manganese content over 46 % is ₹20,407.
- If the Manganese ore is low grade, the leaseholders pay lesser royalty to the National Mineral Exploration Trust and District Mineral Fund.
- It is a hard, gray-white metal, which is very brittle, and fairly reactive. It is naturally found in a variety of minerals, but never on its own.
- It is one of the most common elements in Earth’s crust and is widely distributed across the planet’s surface.
- It is mainly associated with Dharwar system.
- It is found in the Earth’s crust at a concentration of 1000 ppm, making it the 12th most abundant element.
- It is an important raw material for smelting of iron ore and also used for manufacturing ferro alloys.
- It is vital to human and animal life in metabolic functions.
- Many alloys containing manganese are used in steel production, glass making, and even to make the aluminium in soda cans thinner and stronger.
- Odisha is the leading producer of Manganese. Major mines in Odisha are located in the central part of the iron ore belt of India, particularly in Bonai, Kendujhar, Sundergarh, Gangpur, Koraput, Kalahandi and Bolangir.