The Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy, 2024, is a crucial framework established under the Himachal Pradesh Minor Minerals (Concession) and Minerals (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation, and Storage) Rules, 2015. This policy derives its authority from Section 15 and Section 23-C of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

The Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy-2024 marks a significant shift in the state's approach towards mineral extraction and management.  This policy replaces the dated Mineral Policy-2013 and  introduces several key changes aimed at enhancing revenue, curbing illegal mining, and ensuring environmental sustainability.

Importance of Minerals

Minerals represent non-renewable natural resources vital for human sustenance and pivotal to economic prosperity. They serve as the cornerstone of industrial growth and infrastructure development, driving progress and innovation across nations.

Mining Heritage of Himachal Pradesh

Himachal Pradesh boasts a rich legacy of mining and quarrying dating back to the Palaeolithic age, evidenced by ancient temples, monuments, and historical mining sites in regions like Chamba, Kullu, and Shimla. While large-scale mining activities are not prevalent today due to the state's limited mineral resources, both large and small-scale mining sectors contribute significantly to the state's infrastructure needs.

Need for a New Policy

Significant changes have taken place in the mining sector since the Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy-2013 was enacted. The central government has introduced the National Mineral Policy-2019 to encourage transparency, regulation, balanced growth, and sustainable mining. Additionally, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has issued the Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines-2016 and Enforcement & Monitoring Guidelines for Sand Mining-2020 requiring the preparation of a District Survey Report (DSR) before granting mineral concessions. A well-defined Mineral Policy has been formulated to conserve mineral resources, meet growing demand, develop the state's economy, and enhance revenue collection while curbing illegal mining.

ALSO READ ABOUT : Minerals in H.P

Key Highlights of the Policy

  1. Increased Depth of Mineral Extraction: The policy allows for the deepening of pits from 1 meter to 2 meters for extracting minerals from riverbeds and streambeds. This adjustment aligns with neighboring states (upto 3 meters) and aims to prevent mineral loss and revenue leakage.
  2. Mechanized Mining: Emphasis is placed on the use of machinery for mining operations, promoting efficiency and reducing manual labor while adhering to ecological preservation standards.
  3. Manufacturing of M-Sand: The policy permits the production of Manufactured Sand (M-Sand), a sustainable alternative to natural sand, supporting construction activities and reducing environmental impact.
  4. Regulation of Stone Crushers: The registration of new stone crushers near hydel or road projects is allowed, facilitating infrastructure development while ensuring compliance with environmental norms.

Environmental Conservation Measures

  • Restrictions on Riverbank Mining: Mining activities are prohibited within 5 meters of riverbanks, safeguarding aquatic ecosystems and preventing erosion.
  • Buffer Zones: No mining is permitted within 75 meters of soil conservation works, nursery plantations, and check dams, preserving vital ecological areas.
However, the policy also requires that:
  1. The natural flow of water is not disturbed.
  2. Permission holders are charged an additional processing charge equivalent to 75% of royalty payable on every tonne of mineral produced. 

Objectives of the New Mineral Policy-2024 

a. To explore mineral wealth of the State and to carry out its exploitation by adopting scientific and mechanical techniques with adequate safeguards to protect environment and ecology.

b. To increase the employment opportunities in the mining sector, by granting sustainably adequate mineral concessions in the State. The mining sector is providing direct employment to more than 12,500 persons and indirect employment to more than 45,000 persons in the State.

c. To take effective measures to curb illegal mining and leakages of revenue.

d. To prepare an integrated On-line portal for regulating the mining activities in a fair transparent manner.

e. To promote value addition through promotion of processing units and mineral based industries in the State.

f. To simplify the procedures and rules to make regulatory environment conducive to ease of doing business.

g. To adhere to the orders/directions issued by the Hon’ble Apex Court, Hon’ble High Court, Hon’ble National Green Tribunal and other guidelines issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) Government of India, for exploitation of minor minerals

Here is a table summarizing the commercially exploitable minerals found in various districts of the state:

DistrictExploitable Minerals
BilaspurLimestone, dolomitic limestone, shale, brick earth, minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
KangraRoofing slate, brick earth, minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
ChambaLimestone, roofing slate, magnesite & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
Lahaul & SpitiAntimony-ore, Gypsum & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
SolanLimestone, dolomitic limestone, shale, building stone & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
UnaSilica boulders & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
MandiLimestone, rock salt, & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
HamirpurMinor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
ShimlaLimestone, shale, quartzite & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
SirmourLimestone, barites, gypsum, shale, quartzite & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
KulluRoofing slate, quartzite crystal, mineral water, Semi precious stones & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri
KinnaurGypsum & minor minerals like sand, stone & bajri

Measure to check illegal mining

- No mining of minor minerals allowed between 8:00 P.M. to 5:00 A.M.

- Custodian departments responsible for preventing illegal mining on Govt. land.

- FIR to be lodged for damaging public property.

- Registered dealers to be made more accountable and penalty provisions to be made more stringent.

- Mineral concession holders to fix signboards and encourage reporting of illegal mining.

- Transportation to be done through online mode.

- Unauthorized minerals seized during checking/raids to be put to auction.

- Unauthorized roads/routes used for illegal mining to be identified and plugged.

- Public participation and awareness to be encouraged.

- Four dedicated Flying squads to check illegal mining in border areas to be constituted.These flying squads equipped with DRONES will conduct surprise raids in the areas vulnerable to illegal mining and take deterrent action against the offenders. 


The Himachal Pradesh Mineral Policy-2024 heralds a new era in the state's mineral sector, balancing economic growth with environmental sustainability. By embracing modern extraction techniques and emphasizing responsible mining practices, the policy sets the stage for continued progress and prosperity in the region.

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