KOLKATA (miningweekly.com) – With global resource majors showing tepid interest in Indian mineral exploration projects, the Mines Ministry is working on models including offers of financial incentives for foreign junior exploration companies to undertake such projects.
Government officials familiar with the framing of such models said that foreign junior exploration companies would be offered funding, including risk funds from the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET), if they floated joint ventures (JV) with Indian companies for specific mineral exploration projects in specific geographies.
The government reckons that, unlike global resource majors, which are more interested in following up exploration projects with own development and mining investments, junior explorers will be more amenable to undertake standalone exploration projects in collaboration with existing Indian mining companies.
In terms of tentative plans, overseas junior exploration companies will be required to float JVs with either Indian start-ups or existing mining companies. The foreign investor will have the option of majority control.
These JVs will then have the option to submit specific mineral exploration projects to the Mines Ministry seeking risk funding from NMET, government officials familiar with framing of the model say.