It’s ‘Prime’ time for iron ore export


State government’s reluctance to act on Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) directions to keep in abeyance all NOCs granted for export of Maharashtra origin iron ore,  has proved fruitful to the trading company  Prime Minerals ~ which so far has exported 60,000 metric tonnes of ore from Goa. 
Prime Minerals, earlier this month, was granted NOC by the Directorate of Mines and Geology for export of 72,000 metric tones of ore, it claimed had been brought to Goa from Maharashtra. The export of the same had begun from Panjim port, a couple of days back. 
Sources from Mines Department confirmed that around 60,000 metric tonnes of ore have already been exported from the port, while the remaining 12,000 would be cleared in next two days. “Though CEC has issued its directions, the State government has not taken any stand yet and hence the export continues. The entire ore will be exported in next two days, if government fails to pass any order,” the source said. 
The source also said that if the entire ore gets exported, then it would be very difficult for the department to collect the ore sample to identify its source/origin. 
Chief Minister on Saturday had indirectly hinted that State might not abide by CEC directives claiming that “only judiciary has power to instruct me”. 
The Principal Secretary (Mines) RK Varma, speaking to HERALD had said that government has not violated Supreme Court order and the matter would be placed before government. 
The CEC in an order on January 18 had directed the State government to keep the NOC for export in abeyance and had sought foolproof measures for ascertaining that the ore has actually come from the neighbouring State. 
They have also asked for details like on what basis the permission was granted, which officer cleared and who had physically verified the source of ore. [H]