CM discusses plans for early resumption of mining

PANAJI: Moving forward with his efforts, Chief Minister
Pramod Sawant on Tuesday held a joint meeting with the mining stakeholders and
officials of the government to work out a suitable solution for early
resumption of mining operations in the state while respecting all applicable
Acts and the Supreme Court judgments since 1998.

The meeting was attended by Chief Secretary Parimal Rai,
Secretary mines Daulat Hawaldar, director of mines Amey Abhayankar besides a
delegation including mining industry representatives Ambar Timblo, Shivanand
Salgaonkar, spokesperson of Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association Glen Kalavampara
and others.

Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, the Chief
Minister said that the representatives of the mining industry have suggested
steps on how to go forward to resume mining activities in the state. “The
government has asked the industry to re-submit a fresh memorandum in this
regard, which we will take forward by obtaining legal advice,” he said, adding
that it was a positive discussion on how to resume mining activities
immediately.

Sawant also said that the government has already begun
work of framing a dump policy, which will be ready by July 2019. “The mining
dumps are owned by the state government. After finalising policy, we will have
to calculate how much mining dump is there in the state,” he said.

The Chief Minister further said the government has
decided to e-auction over five million tonne of iron ore by June. “There is
only five million tonne of iron ore remaining. Once we find out base price of
the iron ore, we will go for e-auctioning,” he said.

Sawant said that once the mining matter is fixed by the
Supreme Court for hearing, the state government will file a positive
affidavit before the apex court.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister maintained that the state
government has directed the concerned officials to take all precautions and
safety measures under disaster management in mining areas during monsoon. “The
government has already given directions to the concerned mamlatdars and other
officials to take precautions in mining sites and areas during monsoon,” he
said, adding that wherever needed, authorities will take help of mining firms
for the safety of people residing in mining areas.

Meanwhile, following the meeting with the Chief Minister,
the iron ore mining industry in the state indicated satisfaction with the
talks.

The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) said,
“After discussion with the Chief Minister, the industry is confident that
mining resumption is of utmost importance to the government. The government is
determined and focussed on immediate resumption of operations.”

According to the industry representative body, the state
government while examining resumption of mining will respect all the applicable
Acts as well as the applicable Supreme Court judgments.

The iron ore mining industry has been shut down since
March 16, 2018, due to the Supreme Court order that cancelled 88 mining leases.
The GMOEA has estimated loss of 60,000 direct and indirect jobs due to the
closure.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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