Goa govt denies excess mining

Goa govt denies excess mining

In an affidavit filed in the court, Goa Director of Mines Arvind Loliyekar said though production of iron ore for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 “appears” to have crossed limits set under environment clearances, this was not due to “fresh excavation” of ore but because ore was also lifted from existing dumps.

In 2009-2010, iron ore exporters extracted 34.93 million tonnes.
However, another 12.60 million tonnes was produced from “dumps.” In the 2010-2011 period, 32.93 million tonnes was mined and 15.45 million tonnes—almost half the production—was generated from mining dumps.

 “It is, therefore, seen that the overall production of fresh excavation has not exceeded the rated capacity stipulated in the environmental clearances,” Loliyekar told the court in response to a PIL filed by the environment group Goa Foundation.  The mines department,  which has been under Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for 12 years, said in only one case this year that an operator has exceeded production limits by 6,000 tonnes.

Loliyekar said low grade ore dumps had been “rehandled” after a huge demand in China, increasing production. The government had also collected royalty on this.

Some 410 mineral traders are registered with the mines department and their assessment is under way, the government said.  

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