Ore exports exceed valid permits

State expresses helplessness regarding illegal mining and export

The iron ore exported has been generally more than the valid permits issued by the State Government.

The affidavit says that current level of production of iron ore in the State is around 49 million tonnes of which 70 percent is in the form of fines and 30 pc in the form of lumps.

As many as 601 mining leases have been granted over an area of 50023.97 hectares in the State for all minerals. Of these, 17,835 ha of land comes in forest areas comprising 139 mining leases. Also, only 314 of the 601 mining leases are active.

In the last 10 years, the State has witnessed a substantial increase in the mining of iron ore due to the demand for ore. Despite efforts by the government for several years, iron ore is being mined and transported without valid permits.

The ore exported has been generally more than the valid permits. Between 2003-04 and 2009-10, the permits for ore export was 468.42 lakh metric tonnes while 775.31 lakh metric tonnes was exported .

The iron ore dealers have purchased ore from unregistered dealers (URD) to a tune of Rs 644 crore, for which the quantity of ore estimated is 64 lakh MT.

Violation

This amounts to dealing of minerals with non-registered/unlicenced mineral dealers and amounts to violation of the provision of Mineral Minerals (D&R) Act, 1957. Hence the Director of Mines and Geology initiated action for the recovery of value and royalty over this illegally transacted iron ore.

The State government will take action to recover the cost of the ore, which is estimated at Rs 644 crore and also a royalty of Rs 60 crore. The government has said that in the case of Belekeri port, so far 59 accused persons have been arrested.

The CID, which is probing into the illegal export, has charge-sheeted Salgonkar Mining Industries Pvt Ltd, the investigation in respect of stevedore of Rajmahal Silks is completed and it is expected that the charge-sheet will be filed shortly.

The investigation pertaining to 51 firms and the remaining two stevedores - Adani Enterprises and Shree Mallikarjuna Shipping Pvt Ltd is in progress. The entire investigation will be completed and the case will be finalised in about three months.

Export ban, extension of Lokayukta investigation, strengthening the hands of Lokayuka, stopping of issuing bulk permits and establishing  13 composite checkposts are listed as the pro-active measures by the government to curb illegal mining and export.

Facts and figures

* Mining leases recommended to GoI between 2004-2011 (132 cases).
* Cases approved by GoI  (81 cases).
* Notifications issued granting mining leases (63 cases).
* Road Fee per lorry is        Rs 500; so far Rs 50 crore collected.
* Only lessees to get permission to establish ore stockyards.
* Mini Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to monitor illegal mining.

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