As per the FDI policy of India 2012, FDI in mining and exploration of metal and non-metal ores including diamond, gold, silver and precious ores but excluding titanium bearing minerals and its ores; subject to the Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 is allowed upto 100% through automatic route.
Similarly, FDI in coal and lignite mining for captive consumption by power projects, iron and steel and cement units and other eligible activities permitted under and subject to the provisions of Coal Mines (Nationalization) Act, 1973 is allowed upto 100% through automatic route.
FDI for setting up coal processing plants like washeries subject to the condition that the company shall not do coal mining and shall not sell washed coal or sized coal from its coal processing plants in the open market and shall supply the washed or sized coal to those parties who are supplying raw coal to coal processing plants for washing or sizing is allowed upto 100% through automatic route.
FDI in mining and mineral separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores, its value addition and integrated activities subject to sectoral regulations and the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation Act 1957) is allowed upto 100% through government approval route.
India has large reserves of beach sand minerals in the coastal stretches around the country. Titanium bearing minerals viz. Ilmenite, rutile and leucoxene, and Zirconium bearing minerals including zircon are some of the beach sand minerals which have been classified as “prescribed substances” under the Atomic Energy Act, 1962.
Under the Industrial Policy Statement 1991, mining and production of minerals classified as “prescribed substances” and specified in the Schedule to the Atomic Energy (Control of Production and Use) Order, 1953 were included in the list of industries reserved for the public sector. Vide Resolution No. 8/1(1)/97-PSU/1422 dated 6th October 1998 issued by the Department of Atomic Energy laying down the policy for exploitation of beach sand minerals, private participation including Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), was permitted in mining and production of Titanium ores (Ilmenite, Rutile and Leucoxene) and Zirconium minerals (Zircon).
Vide Notification No. S.O.61(E) dated 18.1.2006, the Department of Atomic Energy re-notified the list of “prescribed substances” under the Atomic Energy Act 1962. Titanium bearing ores and concentrates (Ilmenite, Rutile and Leucoxene) and Zirconium, its alloys and compounds and minerals/concentrates including Zircon, were removed from the list of “prescribed substances”.
(i) FDI for separation of titanium bearing minerals and ores will be subject to the following additional conditions viz.:
(a) Value addition facilities are set up within India along with transfer of technology;
(b) Disposal of tailings during the mineral separation shall be carried out in accordance with regulations framed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board such as Atomic Energy (Radiation Protection) Rules, 2004 and the Atomic Energy (Safe Disposal of Radioactive Wastes) Rules, 1987.
(ii) FDI will not be allowed in mining of “prescribed substances” listed in the Notification No. S.O. 61(E) dated 18.1.2006 issued by the Department of Atomic Energy.
Clarification: (1) For titanium bearing ores such as Ilmenite, Leucoxene and Rutile, manufacture of titanium dioxide pigment and titanium sponge constitutes value addition. Ilmenite can be processed to produce ‘Synthetic Rutile or Titanium Slag as an intermediate value added product.
The objective is to ensure that the raw material available in the country is utilized for setting up downstream industries and the technology available internationally is also made available for setting up such industries within the country. Thus, if with the technology transfer, the objective of the FDI Policy can be achieved, the conditions prescribed at (i) (a) above shall be deemed to be fulfilled.