Sustainable Mica Policy and Vision prepared by Responsible Mica Initiative with Jharkhand Government and Civil Society Support


A global coalition of mica-using industries and civil society organizations, led by Responsible Mica Initiative (RMI), today submitted a Sustainable Mica Policy Framework and Vision, finalized 2 weeks ago with Government of Jharkhand. This is a unique global collaboration initiative that is expected to create employment for over 210,000 workers, grow mica-based industries by 2 to 5 times, and increase Jharkhand’s share of national mica exports to 40% (from 20%) over a 3-5-year period.

The key interventions recommended under the Sustainable Mica Policy Framework and Vision document are:

  1. Creating a Sustainable Mica Taskforce;
  2. Defining sustainability standards for the mica supply chain;
  3. Creating Mica Self Help Groups, involving Gram Panchayats, to formalize the upstream sector;
  4. Creating a Mica Research Centre for data-backed, economic and social policy making;
  5. Creating a Jharkhand Mica Development Fund that would be utilized to fund all recommended steps;
  6. Steps to promote mica-linked investments in Jharkhand with a view to enabling long term sourcing contracts of sustainable-mica and increasing state’s share of mica-linked revenue;
  7. Creating a new Sustainable Mica mining lease agreement;
  8. Addressing ‘soft infrastructure’ gaps in labour rights, registering mica-pickers and protecting their rights;
  9. Creating traceability architecture, whistle-blower program and independent third-party audits system.

The intervention areas were discussed at a multi-stakeholder consultation on July 7 2020, with contribution from 45 participants, including representation from two departments of the Jharkhand Government (Mines and Geology; Women and Child Development), members from global development and multilateral agencies, members from civil society organizations and members from industry players; before being finalized.

Adoption of a Sustainable Mica policy framework will benefit local communities, all workers in mica-industries, the government, as well as industry, and help develop Jharkhand as a global hub for ‘sustainable’ natural mica.

The coalition is now working towards and looking forward to the creation of a Sustainable Mica Taskforce, within which Jharkhand Government’s participation will be critical, to turn into concrete implementations these 9 interventions recommended under the Sustainable Mica policy framework & vision document.

Jharkhand (specifically the two districts of Giridih and Koderma) is a global sourcing hub for high-quality natural mica that is used as an industrial mineral and key ingredient by supply chains in multiple industries – it is sourced as a key ingredient by cosmetics majors, paints and chemical companies, electronic manufacturers, oil and gas industry, the automotive and aerospace industries. Reviving mining, processing and exports of ‘sustainable mica’ from Jharkhand would bring in additional revenue to the state, create jobs and development in the state, and eliminate illegal mining activities.