The mining sector in India is likely to show a growth of 0.4 per cent in 2012-13 as against negative growth of 0.6 per cent during 2011-12. India is a major mineral producer globally. It is currently a global producer of chromite, coal, iron ore and bauxite. Some of India’s state owned mining companies have faced drastic production cuts, resulting in the closure of several mining operations. This is due to lower grade reserves and excessive manpower quotas. Since the National Mineral Policy, 1993 came into force, India has made good progress in attracting foreign investment in its mining sector.
The National Mineral Policy was revised in 1994 and as a result, private investment has been permitted for the exploration of the following minerals: Iron ore, Copper, Manganese, Lead, Chrome Ore, Zinc, Sulphur, Molybdenum, Gold, Tungsten ore, Diamond, Nickel and Platinum group of metals. Hence several foreign companies have begun investing in India, like Canada , the USA, Australia, the UK and South Africa.
Most interest has been shown in the base metals, diamond, mineral sands and gold sectors. The Geological Survey of India (GSI) is the principal agency responsible for the assessment of geological and regional mineral resources of the country. The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) is the principal government agency responsible for compiling exploration data and mineral maps and for providing access to the latest information in respect of mineral resources in the country.