State govt likely to auction 40 more mining leases soon | Goa News


Panaji: The state government is likely to initially auction around 40 mining leases to meet the 30 million tonne quota for iron ore extraction.
A senior official said that in 2015, a Supreme Court-constituted expert committee had recommended a macro EIA study related to the annual excavation ceiling of the Goa iron ore mine at 30 million tonnes. In 2014, the Supreme Court imposed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes on ore extraction in the state.
“We will approach the Supreme Court seeking permission to raise the limit to 30 million tonnes based on the expert committee’s report,” a senior official said.
He said the Supreme Court had set aside the second renewal of 88 mining leases. The official said the leases will be auctioned on a cap-and-trade basis.
Allottees have to approach the Union Ministry of Environment, which will also decide the extraction limit for a particular mine.
“Once the extraction amount is decided, the Directorate of Mines and Geology will get clarity on the leases that will be auctioned to meet the cap,” said a senior official.
Recently, the state government successfully completed the auction of four mining leases – three in North Goa and one in South Goa. All mining leases have been retained by mining companies in Goa.
In the new year, the state government will auction seven more mining leases.
A few days ago, the SC allowed the state government to take a decision on low-grade iron ore dumping sites across the state.
The state mines department has said that about 20 million tonnes of iron ore are in landfills, and could be exported within four to five years.
Senior advocate Devidas Pangam said the Supreme Court’s expert assessment committee (EAC) had recommended that the state government be allowed to take a decision on landfill management.
In December 2021, ahead of the assembly elections, the Pramod Sawant-led government gave its nod to the new policy of managing mine dumps off-lease and on-site through auction by the state government, and also allowed the lessees to resume operation of the dumps. mining activities.

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