MINERAL CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT RULES, 1988 (CHAPTER V)

As ammended upto 18.01.2000
New Delhi, the 24th October, 1988
CHAPTER V
Environment

31. Protection of environment:

Every holder of a prospecting licence or a mining lease shall take all possible precautions for the protection of environment and control of pollution while conducting prospecting, mining, beneficiation or metallurgical operations in the area.

32. Removal and utilisation of top soil:

  1. Every holder of a prospecting licence or a mining lease shall, wherever top soil exists and is to be excavated for prospecting or mining operations, remove it separately.
  2. The top soil so removed shall be utilised for restoration or rehabilitation of the land which is no longer required for prospecting or mining operations or for stabilising or landscaping the external dumps.
  3. Whenever the top soil cannot be utilized concurrently, it shall be stored separately for future use.

33. Storage of overburden, waste rock, etc.:

  1. Every holder of a prospecting licence or a mining lease shall take steps so that the overburden, waste rock, rejects and fines generated during prospecting and mining operations or tailings, slimes and fines produced during sizing, sorting and beneficiation or metallurgical operations shall be stored in separate dumps.
  2. The dumps shall be properly secured to prevent escape of material therefrom in harmful quantities which may cause degradation of environment and to prevent causation of floods.
  3. The site for dumps, tailings or slimes shall be selected as for as possible on impervious ground to ensure minimum leaching effects due to precipitations.
  4. Wherever possible, the waste rock, overburden etc. shall be back-filled into the mine excavations with a view to restoring the land to its original use as far as possible.
  5. Wherever back-filling of waste rock in the area excavated during mining operations is not feasible, the waste dumps shall be suitably terraced and stablised though vegetation or otherwise.
  6. The fines, rejects or tailings from mine, beneficiation or metallurgical plants shall be deposited and disposed in a specially prepared tailings disposal area such that they are not allowed to flow away and cause land degradation or damage to agricultural field, pollution of surface water bodies and ground water or cause floods.

34. Reclamation and rehabilitation of lands:

Every holder of prospecting licence or mining lease shall undertake the phased restoration, reclamation and rehabilitation of lands affected by prospecting or mining operations and shall complete this work before the conclusion of such operations and the abandonment of prospect or mine.

35. Precaution against ground vibrations:

Whenever any damage to public buildings or monuments is apprehended due to their proximity to the mining lease area, scientific investigations shall be carried out by the holder of mining lease so as to keep the ground vibrations caused by blasting operations within safe limit.

36. Control of surface subsidence:

Stoping in underground mines shall be so carried out as to keep surface subsidence under control.

37. Precaution against air pollution:

Air pollution due to fines, dust, smoke or gaseous emissions during prospecting, mining, beneficiation or metallurgical operations and related activities shall be controlled and kept within 'Permissible Limits' specified under various environmental laws of the country including the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (14 of 1981) and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986) by the holder of prospecting licence or a mining lease.

38. Discharge of toxic liquid:

Every holder of prospecting licence or a mining lease shall take all possible precautions to prevent or reduce the discharge of toxic and objectionable liquid effluents from mine, workshop, beneficiation or metallurgical plants., tailing ponds, into surface water bodies, ground water aquifier and useable lands, to a minimum. These effluents shall be suitably treated, if required, to conform to the standards laid down in this regard.

39. Precaution against noise :

Noise arising out of prospecting, mining, beneficiation or metallurgical operations shall be abated or controlled by the holder of prospecting licence or a mining lease at the source so as to keep it within the permissible limit.

40. Permissible limits and standards:

The standards and permissible limits of all pollutants, toxins and noise referred to in rules 37, 38 and 39 shall be those notified by the concerned authorities under the provisions of the relevant statutes from time to time.

41. Restoration of flora:

  1. Every holder of prospecting licence or a mining lease shall carry out prospecting or mining operations, as the case may be, in such a manner so as to cause least damage to the flora of the area held under prospecting licence or mining lease and the nearby areas.
  2. Every holder of prospecting licence or a mining lease shall
    1. take immediate measures for planting in the same area or any other area selected by the Controller General or the authorised officer not less than twice the number of trees destroyed by reason of any prospecting or mining operations;
    2. look after them during the subsistence of the licence/lease after which these trees shall be handed over to the State Forest Department or any other authority as may be nominated by the Controller General or the authorised officer and;
    3. restore to the extent possible, other flora destroyed by prospecting or mining operations.