Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 430
The Indian Mining Industry: Present Status,
Challenges and the Way Forward
This paper aims to provide a detailed analysis of the Indian mining and minerals sector. It presents information on the current status of the mining and minerals industry in India which covers mineral exploration, reserve and resource position, production levels, contribution to GDP, employment and foreign trade, challenges this industry faces and the ways to overcome these challenges. The data employed for the study is from the Indian Bureau of Mines, RBI Handbook of Statistics, National Account of Statistics and other relevant documents, DGMS reports, NGO publications, Australian Bureau of Mining, United States Geological Survey etc. The analysis shows that despite a large base of natural resources, India’s production in key mineral categories has declined over the past few years. The contribution of mining sector to India’s GDP has been stagnant and low, at around 2.7 per cent. This industry employs a very small percentage of India’s total population (0.3%). Several challenges such as lack of investment in exploration activities, inadequate infrastructure facilities, procedural and permit delays in mining operation, land acquisition issues, shortage of skilled human capital, corruption, lack of sustainability and the country’s complex mining policy engulf this industry. The study recommends that critical success factors such as supportive government policies and framework, sustainability and environmental reforms can help overcome these challenges.