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Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Saturday said the auctioning of eligible iron ore mining leases in the state will get over by November 2022, but it would take one year after that to begin the extraction of fresh ore.
Talking to PTI in Sankhalim, his Assembly constituency in North Goa, Sawant said this one-year period is required to complete all the formalities.
The mining activities in Goa had come to a standstill in March 2018 after the apex court quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to 88 companies in Goa in 2015, and prohibited the extraction of fresh ore.
The state has now put up four iron ore mining leases for auction. This is for the first time in Goa's mining history that leases are being awarded through auctioning.
"The first batch of four leases have been auctioned by the State Directorate of Mines and Geology, SBI CAP and Metal Scrap Trade Corporation Limited, while the process is on to auction the rest of the leases by November 2022," he said.
There is scope for the interested companies to quote the mining auction till November 2022, he said.
"The fresh extraction of ore will start by November 2023. Environment clearances (ECs) for 86 mining leases are live and they can start the extraction immediately. The live ECs can be used by the companies after winning the auction for another two years and then they will have to apply for fresh ones as per the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act," the chief minister said.
Those environment clearances which are not live will have to apply afresh, he added.
"The state government has a right to give ECs for the leases which are less than 100 hectares," Sawant said.
He said the state government cannot monopolise the auctioning for the state-based players, who are already in the business, but priority would be given to those companies that were working on those leases before the industry shut down.
"The state government cannot stop major national and international players from participating in the auctioning, but they will be prohibited from holding the leases. We will put up a condition that the extraction of iron ore has to start immediately by these companies," Sawant added.
The state government will also resume the process to e-auction iron ore, which has already been extracted, he said.
"The e-auctioning process will resume soon so that the mining activity in the state can start," the chief minister said, adding that the state government was also working on how to export the iron ore stacked in the form of dumps.
(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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First Published: Sat, October 01 2022. 15:40 IST