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Enhanced extraction limit for 30 mining leases

Panaji: The directorate of mines and geology (DMG) has enhanced the iron ore extraction quota of 30 mining leases. In a bid to exhaust the 20 million tonnes iron ore cap in the state, the state government has decided to allow them to use the quota of inactive lease holders.Thirty mining leases across the state have applied before the DMG to enhance their existing iron ore quota. The mining department invited applications from those mining lease holders who have exhausted their allotted quota.A senior officer of the mining department said that mining companies have to approach the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) to approve the mining plan, according to the new allotment. After getting the mining plan approved, the mining company has to approach the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) to obtain consent to operate under the air act and water act.
The government wanted to increase the mining cap so that the state receives higher revenue from mining exports to repay its loans and carry out more developmental works. In order to achieve this, the state government has to exhaust the 20 million cap so that it can approach the apex court to increase the limit. In April 2014, the Supreme Court, in a judgement, set a 20 million tonne per year cap on iron ore extraction in the state.
Earlier, the mines department had distributed 20 million tonne of iron ore among 88 mining companies on pro-rata basis. The state government has renewed 88 mining leases, of which around 42 are in operation.In the current mining season, till date, around 10 million tonnes of iron ore has been extracted. During 2015-2016, 7.3 million tonne of iron ore was exported.Of the 88 mining leases renewed by the state government, GSPCB granted 70 consent to operate under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, with an iron ore extraction limit of approximately 16 million tonne. [TOI]

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