SC: Mining Leases Cancelled in Goa, Can’T Operate After March 15th (Download PDF)

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Supreme Court quashed all iron ore mining permits in Goa on environmental grounds, Goa is country’s top producing area for the steel raw material, New licenses need to be obtained for mining in the area after taking due environmental clearances.

Image of IRON ORE Production And Exports

Image of IRON ORE Production And Exports

Image of IRON ORE Production And Exports

  • Mining in Goa, is known for its low-quality iron ore.

Iron Ore Production in Goa

  • Most of Goa’s iron ore is exported to China, as Indian steel companies do not have the technology to use them.

  • Chinese iron ore demand has slowed after steel production curbs enacted in middle of November to curb industrial emissions as part of the country’s fight against smog. The curbs are in place until the middle of March.

  • Mining companies in Goa lobbied to get the export duty on iron ore reduced given a large stockpile of already-mined ore in the state.

Iron Ore Leases

  • Court action against illegal mining shut the industry in Goa for more than two years from 2012.

  • Goa exported about 50 million tonnes of iron ore a year before ban was imposed.

  • Mining was suspended after Justice MB Shah Commission found that iron ore was being extracted illegally.

  • The licenses were renewed in 2015 for the second time by the State for 20 years, with retrospect effect from 2007- latest ban is hard for companies like Vedanta with mines in the state.

  • After expiration, State should have granted fresh mining leases in accordance with law, but the government just renewed the mining leases.

  • According to SC, renewal of contracts was a charade and the mining lease holders violated the law.

Future Direction

  • The court directed the State to ensure that fresh mining leases are granted in accordance with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

  • Ministry of Environment and Forest should “take all necessary steps” to grant fresh environmental clearances to those who are successful in obtaining fresh mining leases.

  • The court also directed a Special Investigation Team and a team of Chartered Accountants, in compliance with the Goa Grant of Mining Leases Policy, 2014 to submit its report at the earliest.

What is Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act?

  • The Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act (1957) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted to regulate the mining sector in India.

  • Act forms the basic framework of mining regulation in India.

  • Act is applicable to all minerals except coal, minor minerals, and atomic minerals.

  • Details the process and conditions for acquiring a mining or prospecting licence in India

- Published/Last Modified on: March 20, 2018

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