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E-auction of ore dumps could bring windfall to state tresury

Mining News - Published on Wed, 22 May 2019

Image Source: SteelGuru
Herald Goa reported that the recent decision of the State government to e-auction mining dumps could bring a windfall to the State’s depleted treasury. Tapping iron ore mines not covered under the 2018 Supreme Court order, e-auction of minerals lying at the site, handling of dumps are some of the options that Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant is exploring to resume mining activities in the State providing relief to dependents. Sawant last week met officials of the Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) and stakeholders to explore options to provide livelihood to the people dependent on the mining industry, by resuming activities, which have been halted since February 2018. Mines Secretary Daulat Hawaldar and Director Ameya Abhiyankar were present for the meeting.

Sawant directed Mines Department to formulate a policy to handle dumps by July so that mining activities can resume. Iron ore rejects amounting to 733 million tonnes are lying outisde lease areas, which the government now intends to handle. “A proper policy will be drafted. Directions have been issued to Mines Department to prepare the policy by July. We want to ensure that mining activities resume,” Sawant told Herald.

In a bid to handle the dumps, government will have to obtain an Environmental Clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF).

As per government records, a total of 139 mining dumps are on forest land, of which 95 are in South Goa and 44 in North Goa, the quantity of which is almost 40 percent of the total iron ore dumps in the State. Nearly 733 million tonnes of ore are lying in forest, non-forest, government and private land. In most cases, the ore dumps are covered with tree vegetation and acacia and casuarina plantation. The Goa State Mining Policy 2013 favouring removal of dumps from forest areas has said that dumps within forest areas, including sanctuaries, are causing problems to the wild life. It has said that the State government will seek special approval (if required) from MoEF for its removal.

As per the statistics available with Herald, Chowgule & Co Pvt Ltd has the highest amount of ore in dumps with 151.405 million tonnes followed by Sesa Goa Ltd which has 124.23 million tonnes.VMSB has 64.43 million tonnes while SOVA has 42.5 million tonnes.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 22 May 2019
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