Exploration and exploitation of sapphire mines

In respect of world famous sapphire mines in Paddar Kishtwar, one controversy or the other comes in between exploration and reaping commercial value thereof. Many a time, we have come across revised and “refined” opinions and expert advice in this behalf only to be seen their moving little beyond papers and files. What happened to floating of global tenders , the process of which was initiated way back in 2013, for obtaining optimal commercial reaps from these rich reserves, remained more or less in inertial mode while it is now learnt to decide to suspend the entire process initiated . It becomes difficult, under the circumstances this entire issue is handled, as to whether the fresh decision of suspension is right or the one taken in 2013 was. Whatever the results of the fresh initiatives, the same would only be known in the near future but the fact remains that sapphire mines are plunged in the haze and the mist of mismanagement and confusion. One wonders with such an approach , had this state been blessed with more of rich mineral deposits , what would have been their fate?
Have so far no scientific analysis and estimation been made as to ascertain the quantum of these reserves hidden deep underground ? If not, how was the process of tendering by the Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited okayed in 2013 ? In other words, it means the process was started without an expert advice of technical personnel and Transaction Advisor in respect of reaching the levels of bids. The new ‘High Powered Committee’ must dive deep into this shortcoming also and make a thorough scanning with the same yardstick into the fresh initiatives. The entire gamut of the process of taming the mines for commercial returns, ipso facto, appears to be mired in intricacies of red-tape of the officialdom in the Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited . It could also be inferred that the focus of the Company is more on exploring coal and gypsum reserves which gives it a slight edge in mopping meagre revenues for the state economy and not in sapphire mines while one activity of exploration and production, agreeably should not be at the cost of the other.
Since the state, as also the Jammu and Kashmir Minerals Limited are having constraints in finding the bidders from within the state , outsourcing the same under the PPP mode is the only alternative including obtaining the technical advice . The issue of excavation and exploitation of sapphire mines should not find itself tossed from Board of Directors of the J&K Minerals Limited to Technical Advisors to Scrutiny Committees to Board to State Administration and vice versa due to which, sapphire mines becoming a very attractive and profitable venture continues to remain a distant dream , at best confined only to paper work. Elements of accountability and responsibility are central to each and every initiative and once the one is given approval to proceed, should not be stopped midway only to create rooms for speculations and apprehensions.
While the selection of M/s Mineworks Pvt. Ltd; since inception of the process, has given rise to certain doubts and questions as per the Group of Officers headed by the Administrative Secretary, it is equally important to unravel the nature of those questions and their impact on the exploration of the mines which has resulted into suspension of the entire exercise, as also how to proceed ahead , to start with knowing the exact quantum of reserves to rule out exploration being not economically viable which has direct bearing on floating of tenders and response thereto .