The Goa Government plans export of ore dumped at pit heads over decades. The State is left with nearly 30 per cent revenue gap due to the ban on iron ore mining.

Talking to Business Line on the sidelines of a seminar at the MCC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) on Friday, Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that the State plans to clean up huge dumps at various mine sites.

The exercise would be undertaken within three to four months “taking due care of the legal formalities”. The State’s Department of Mining and Geology “have been asked to prepare a plan for export of ore fines”.

“We have huge ore dumps – some of six-decade vintage – dotting the State with tiny land mass and population. We need to clean this mess up,” he said.

Parrikar, who is a metallurgist by training, said export was the only option for the low grade – 42 to 52 per cent Fe – ore available in the State. Only some of the Chinese mills now use these low grade ores.

Later at a symposium on fuel security organised by the Coal Consumers’ Association of India (CCAI), Parrikar said mining earned the State nearly Rs 900 crore of revenue through $6 billion worth of exports annually. Earnings of the Union Government were as high as Rs 10,000 crore a year.

India, he feels, has a tendency to move from one extreme to another when it comes to issues related to environment and forests.

“The irregularities (if any) were going on for years. Suddenly the pendulum swings to another extreme,” he said in a reference to complete ban on mining in Goa.

(This article was published on December 7, 2012)
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