WITH NEW MINING SEASON FAST APPROACHING; MINERS LOOKING FOR HIKE IN ANNUAL PRODUCTION CAP

Panaji (GOA) With less than a month left for the fresh iron ore extraction activities to commence in the State, the miners in Goa are with their fingers crossed over possible enhancement of the annual ore production cap, which is currently fixed at 20 million tons.

Iron ore mining operations had come to seasonal halt on May 31, owing to the onset of the southwest monsoon. The new season will now commence in October, which is likely to be marred with severe challenges.

The concluding season witnessed the annual production touching 20 million ton mark. Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) records states that from October 2016 to February 2017, total 41 mining leases commenced operation. The royalty earned was around Rs 300 crores.

With the Expert Committee in its final report placed before the Supreme Court, hearing the illegal mining case, recommending enhancing the fresh ore production cap to 30 million tonnes and further to 38 million tonnes on augmentation of required infrastructure by the State government, the industry players are pinning hope on the Apex Court for its verdict before the new season begins.

“Supreme Court had in May agreed to consider increasing the annual production limit. The matter was supposed to come up in August, but it did not,” an Industry player confirmed to TNV.

Official said that the 20 million tons ore is not a viable business both for State and the miners. “Also those dependent on this business like truck owners are also facing the hit,” official said.

Total 89 leases were renewed, but only 70 were granted consent to operate by the Goa State Pollution Control Board, at pro-rata basis of fresh extraction of 20 million tons.

Further, high taxation, full-fledged resumption of mining operation, solution to increasing pollution, issues surrounding the truck operators, mining corridors, etc are some of the major challenges before the industry, which is yet to pick up at its actually pace.

September 12th, 2017

Posted In: News

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