New mining policy by month-end, says K'taka Minister Nirani

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Mangaluru, Apr 9 (PTI) The new state mining policy with focus on the requirements of the coastal districts will be released by the end of this month, Karnataka Minister for Mines and Geology Murugesh Nirani has said.

Addressing reporters here on Thursday, he said the draft of the policy will be sent to district-level officials, experts and journalists to elicit their views and suggestions.

The minister said the Mines department has accepted the demand from stone quarry owners in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi for exemption from the explosive licence of the Directorate General of Mines Safety as they operated in less than five acres of land.

Those operating in more than five acres of land have been asked to procure the licence within 90 days.

The minister said Hatti gold mines, from where about 1.7 tonnes of gold are being obtained annually, will be renamed as Karnataka Hatti gold mines Limited on April 30 during the 'Gani Adalat in Bengaluru.

The department is planning to sell mined gold in the form of coins with the state emblem on the one side and images of prominent personalities of the state on the other, he said.

Nirani said the new mining policy proposes to offer sand to people building houses for less than Rs10 lakh at a nominal rate of Rs 100 per tonne excluding transportation cost, while others will have to buy sand at the prescribed rates after paying royalty to the government.PTI MVG SS PTI PTI