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India commissions review of mineral royalty rates

The Indian government commissioned a 24-member study group to review existing mineral royalty rates, excluding coal, lignite and sand, and to propose revisions and changes to the royalty regime, Mining Weekly reported Feb. 15, citing a government order.

The study group will be chaired by the additional secretary to the mines ministry, and its members will include officials of mineral-bearing state governments, members of the industry and various related ministries.

The group has six months to make a report.

The Indian government raised royalty rates on minerals in 2015 following a similar review that was commissioned in 2013.

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries claims the county's royalty rates are among the highest in the world and increase the average cost of mining in India by 30%.

According to the report, the steel ministry has suggested a single rate by merging multifarious levies imposed on mining including royalties. The ministry also proposed that the single levy or royalty should be applicable for the entire life of a mining property, in contrast to the current practice of revising the royalty rates every three years.