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Goa has 158 operable iron ore leases

NT NETWORK

Panaji

The state has 158 iron ore mining leases which are operable as the leases extend up to March 31 2020, said the government on Tuesday.

Divulging the information on the floor of the assembly, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who is also the Minister for Mines and Geology, said that although the 158 leases are valid and not quashed by the Supreme Court, they can be operable only after getting environmental clearances and other statutory nods.

Sawant was replying to a question on the SC ruling against mining leases, where he said that no mining leases are pending for renewal presently.

The Chief Minister said that 158 leases are operable, 14 leases were initially rejected by the state for renewal but the revision authority of the ministry of mines, New Delhi, asked the government to give a hearing to the applicants and decide on merit.

The High Court of Bombay at Goa has asked the state to consider the renewal of three leases in accordance with law.  The three leases are in Massordem, Dabal and Dharbandora.

It is pertinent to note here that the government earned Rs 29.7 crore from royalty on minerals in 2018-19, of which Rs 24.5 crore

was on major mineral (iron ore).

The SC ruling of February 7, 2018 cancelled 88 iron ore leases as well as one manganese lease, Sawant said.

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