Eco Friendly Mining

The degradation of environment in the mining areas has affected the public life by way of air pollution, land degradation, forest degradation and retreating water table etc. Government is aware of these and taken measures to improve the various aspects of environment degradation by implementing strict conditions for every lease holder. The Mining Engineers and lessees are compelled to adhere with the rules and follow the Eco-Friendly Mining in the State.

There are sufficient existing provisions in various laws to take care of measures required to protect environment in mining areas. Some of the provisions are being highlighted as under: -

Minor Mineral Concession Rule, 1986:- Rule 18(7), Rule 18(8a), Rule 18(8b)(iii), Rule 18(8b)(iv).
M.C.D.R., 1988:Rule 31, 32, 33 and Rule 34.
Granite Conservation and Development Rules:-Rule 29,30,31 and 32.
Marble Development Conservation Rules, 2002:-Rule 22,25,26,27, and Rule 28.
Marble Policy, 2002: - Provision 16(2) (iii), Provision 16(2) (iv), Provision 16(2) (v) and provision 16(2) (vii).

These provisions should be followed strictly by all the leaseholders otherwise action will be initiated against defaulting leaseholders as per rules.

For implementing the provisions of various laws related with Environment Protection and Eco-Friendly mining in an effective manner, every mining lease holder is required to prepare and submit Eco-Friendly mining plan to concerned Assistant Mining Engineer/Mining Engineer. Eco-friendly mining plan would be different and in addition to the mining plan/mining scheme as required under law.
  1. Whenever the lessees dig out the available top soil they may store it separately in such a manner that it could be utilized for stabilizing of dumps created by depositing over burden, by intensive plantation.
  2. For minerals like Gypsum, brick earth etc. where mining is done for very shallow depth (1m to 5m), waste & overburden generated during mining operations, must be refilled. After leveling, top soil collected must be spread over it and suitable plantations should be done.
  3. All lease holders should check the water channels in their mining lease areas and clear/clean them before the rains start. Water should flow in its natural path and there should be no obstruction created by way of unplanned mining activities.
  4. If some diversion of water channels becomes necessary due to availability of mineral in lease area at a particular location only, new drains following the contours be constructed by lessees, so that water flows un-obstructed to main water bodies/ponds / tanks/natural reservoirs.
  5. The over burden should not be dumped in such a manner that it flows with water in the nearby tanks, reservoirs and ponds etc. The leaseholders should dump the over burden in such a manner that it does not gets washed away to the nearby water tanks and lakes etc. during the rainy season.
  6. All mining lease holders/quarry license holders are requested to plant a specific number of trees based on their area of lease so that they survive for longer time to come. It has to be ensured here that the mine owners should report the achievement of the target of tree plantation by way of giving number of plants that survive and not by the number of plants planted by them.
  7. The lessees of major and minor minerals having areas more than 5.00 hectares shall develop thick afforestation zone on the boundary of lease in at least 10 meter strip. This can be achieved in steps and exact plan should be submitted to ME/AME. The plan must contain yearwise afforestation programme including site and nature of plantation. It shall also be duty of lessee to maintain growth of these plants and survival rate should not be less than 80%. Proper protection of these plantation is also to be ensured by the lessee.
  8. The norms for plantation for each lease holder /quarry license holder would be as under: -

  9. S.No. Category Norms
    1. Major Mineral lessee 5 plants/ hect. Or part / year
    2. Marble, Serpentine and granite leases and Q.L. 20 plants / hect. Or part / year
    3. Other minor mineral leases and Q.L. 10 plants / hect. Or part / year
    4. Q.L. of minerals other than Marble and Granite having area less than 1.00 hectare. 5 plant / Q.L. / year

  10. In all leases that are located adjacent to forest areas, a safe distance as provided in the rules should be left by leaseholders between the actual mining area and the forest boundary. The lessees of such leases should plant a specific number of trees to create a green buffer zone between the mining area and the forest. Such lessees may also construct loose stone/Pakka stone wall showing their working boundaries between the forest and the lease so that there is no possibility of even unintentionally movement towards the forest areas.
  11. Whenever mining reaches to the water table, the leaseholder should dig a separate well in the lease area itself in which water from the mining pit is disposed with the objective of recharging the water table. By doing so there would be no wastage of ground water due to mining operations close to the water table.
  12. Water pollution and air pollution clearances, wherever required are duly obtained by the lessees from the State Pollution Control Board.
The lessees should prepare "eco-friendly mining plan" including the action plan on above issues for their mining area and submit it to the concerned ME/AME for approval. The Performa for submitting the eco-friendly mining plan can be downloaded from the link given below.