Nathurmal mines inching towards resuming operations



Giving green
signal to Nathurmal mines in Harvalem,
Sankhli, the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority on Thursday granted environmental
clearance to the lease for extraction of
iron ore.

The Nathurmal mines with annual capacity of 73,500 tonne
of iron ore is categorised by the SEIAA as ‘Category B’ and screened under
Schedule 1 (a) mining of minerals as per the schedule annexed to the
Environment Impact Assessment
Notification 2006 and the
amendment to the EIA Notification no: S O 3977 (E) dated August 14 2018.

The lease area of the Nathurmal mines is 85.85 hectares.
Now its mining plan will have to get
approval from the Indian Bureau of Mines, Margao, to commence operations,
leaseholder Harish Melwani explained.

He added that other permissions required to restart the
mining operations are the consent to operate from the Goa State Pollution
Control Board and the NOC from the local panchayat.

A working lease, the Nathurmal mines was in production
from 1953 to 2012. It had an EC issued
by the Union ministry of environment and forests on April 16 2007. The valid
lease of the mine is presently until March 2020.

Melwani disclosed that he applied for extension of the
mining lease until 2030 based on captive use under the MMDR (Amendment) Act
2015. He is hopeful of the extension
order coming through.

The government is keen on reviving iron ore mining
industry in the state by giving permissions to leases that have been not
quashed by the Supreme Court.

The Nathurmal mines is among the 18 mines identified by
the state with potential for restarting. It is among the 300 mining leases that
do not come under the ambit of the February 7 2018 order of the SC that quashed
88 leases.

The state gave permission for the Nathurmal mines to
start operations sometime in May 2019 after which the application for the EC
had been made around June 2019.

Of the 18 leases, three mining companies had approached
the government for permission to restart.

The closure of the mining industry in the state will soon complete two

years. The industry came to a halt on March 16 2018.

The SC recently allowed mining companies in the state to
transport royalty paid ore. The state has 9.5 million of extracted ore which is
available for transportation.

Source:: The Navhind Times

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