Recent memoranda of understanding (MOUs) between Canada and
India should facilitate greater access for Canadian companies to
investment and other opportunities in India's mining sector.
This sector is expected to be significantly reformed by new
legislation implementing policy principles introduced in 2008.
Among other things, the new legislation should afford greater
exploration and extraction opportunities for Canadian mining
companies in India.
At the close of the recent G20 summit in Toronto in late June, a
MOU focused on "developing and reinforcing cooperation in the
fields of earth sciences and mining" was signed between
Canada's Department of Natural Resources and India's
Ministry of Mines. The MOU establishes a framework for cooperation
in areas such as exploration, technical and environmental matters,
and the encouragement of improved market access and bilateral
On July 8, a MOU was signed between India's Ministry of
Mines and Ontario's Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and
Forestry. This MOU indicates a desire on the part of Ontario and
India for "developing and reinforcing their cooperation in the
fields of geology and mineral resources." It is intended to
promote opportunities for mineral development and investment
between the two jurisdictions, and provides for cooperation on a
broad range of mining sector activities, such as geoscience
development, mineral exploration, mine development, mines
rehabilitation, health and safety, and value-added processing.
A MOU similar to the two mentioned above is expected to be
signed soon between India and Quebec.
India's efforts to broaden its mining partnership with
Canada coincide with the implementation of its National Mineral
Policy, 2008 (the "2008 Policy"), which forms the basis
for a major overhaul of Indian federal mining legislation,
culminating in the introduction of a new Mines and Minerals
(Development and Regulation) Act, 2010 (the "New
Act"). The primary goal of the 2008 Policy was to encourage
the flow of foreign and domestic private investment into
India's mining sector. Indian mining regulation has generally
been viewed by foreign companies as non-transparent, overly
cumbersome and complex, and characterized by land disputes and
major delays in allocating mining licences. Many exploration
companies have avoided India because its current mining law impedes
the transfer of mining concessions, and does not permit the
effective conversion of reconnaissance permits to prospecting
licences, and prospecting licences to mining leases. The 2008
Policy, which includes general articulations of principles upon
which mining regulation and practices should progress within India,
considered such key issues for foreign companies.
The latest draft of the New Act, released in early June,
includes provisions to deal with these issues and generally
liberalize the Indian mining sector. It is expected that the New
Act will ultimately deal with the following matters:
granting prospectors rights to obtain a mining lease in the
areas where they have done requisite work, and facilitating
transition from regional exploration to prospecting and mining
unbundling of prospecting from mining, whereby prospectors may
invest, find and sell data
encouraging exploration with state-of-art technology and
investment with two types of concession instruments –
namely, reconnaissance permits on a non-exclusive basis and large
area prospecting licences on an exclusive basis
ensuring a level playing field by separating the
government's role as a regulator and as a miner
promoting auction of government-owned or explored ore
reducing delays in the grant of mineral concessions
promoting welfare of local communities by introducing a
Sustainable Development Framework
The latest draft of the New Act was recently sent to a
ten-member Group of Ministers formed by the federal government to
resolve issues raised by various federal and state government
officials. After the group's deliberations, the New Act will be
sent to the Indian Cabinet for its approval and subsequently to
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
The Government of Alberta recently announced a number of policy changes that will impact the Alberta Electricity Market, composed of its generators, transmitters, distributors, retailers, electricity consumers and wholesale electricity market.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).