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Govt yet to decide on auction route for resuming mining




Mines director Ameya Abhyankar on Tuesday asserted that the state  government is yet to take a decision on the auction route for restarting mining operations.

Strongly denying reports that appeared in sections of the press stating that the process of auctioning of mineral blocks has started, Abhyankar said, “The news is not true.”

A meeting was held in the secretariat on Tuesday morning called by the mines secretary to take stock of mineral data for the annual action plan of the Geological Survey of India.

The meeting  was attended by officials from the forest department, the WRD, the Goa State Geological Board and the Indian Bureau of Mines, Margao.

Abhyankar explained that the meeting was a consultation exercise and

all states have been asked to give their inputs for the annual geology survey for the period 2019-20.

A meeting of the Central Geological Programming  Board has been  scheduled for  February 15 in Delhi for which all states have to provide data, he said.

The GSI and the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd  are the two agencies  which conduct mineral survey activities.

The government is yet to find a solution to the mining issue and reopen the industry that shut down on March 16, 2018 due to the Supreme Court order.

On February 7, 2018, the SC directed the state to stop all mining operations until fresh leases and fresh environmental clearances are granted to 88 mining leases.

Auction of leases is a major clause of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015 and all states with leases expiring in March 31, 2020 have been asked to complete the auction process.

In Goa , 174 iron ore mining leases expire in 2020.

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