Guidelines for prevention of misclassification of different grades of iron ore and other minerals

With misclassification of different grades of minerals by mining leaseholders found to be at the root of illegal mining, the Union mines ministry has tightened the procedure to be followed by states for grading and determining the average sale price (ASP) of iron ore and other major minerals. Pointing out that the ASP is crucial for calculating the revenue payable by the lessee to the government particularly in the present regime of auction of leases, the ministry came out with new guidelines for sampling and declaration of grades of minerals. The guidelines say that states must implement an IT-based grade information system with backward and forward integration toward sample analysis and issuing of transport permit. The system should be such that it eliminates manual interventions and should have facility of tracing and tracking of transportation of mineral from mine to factory or port. The guidelines are numerous, but their basic emphasis is on the use of latest technology such as block chain for accounting of minerals by grade.