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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Goa Foundation against existing mine owners getting the same leases

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Panaji: Goa Foundation, an NGO whose petition led to Supreme Court quashing Iron Ore mining leases in the State, on Saturday said that the industry should be resumed by forming State Mineral Corporation.

GF Director Claude Alvares told reporters that the NGO is against allowing the same mining lease holders to restart the operations, whose leases were quashed by the SC.

The SC in an order on February 07, 2018 had quashed 88 mining leases bringing mining industry to halt. The State government has said that Center will amend existing Mining Law to give new life to the leases and existing mine owners can continue extraction and exports of the Ore.

Alvares said that the politicians in the State were giving false hopes to the mining dependents claiming that mining will resume in the month of November this year.

“It is going to be very difficult to resume mining activities in November. Politicians should not try to fool the people dependent on the industry,” he said.

He also said that the the mining can be resumed not by allowing the same mine owners but by forming State Mineral Corporation which will begin extraction of the ore.

 “State government should set up Goa Mineral Development Corporation under section 17A (2) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act and resume mining activities. If this option is preferred by the government, there is no need of auctions and no prospect of any companies from outside the staking taking over the mining industry,” he said.

He said that if auction route is contemplated, mining will take several years to re-start and it will not be in the best interest of the people of the State.

Alvares also suggested that government should start the process of e-auction of balance 10 million tons of ore which is lying within the leases and which belongs to State. “This will ensure some business to the mining dependents,” he said

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