The Goa government today said it will not start mining activity in the state till a comprehensive study is conducted by experts on sustainable extraction of ore.

The state government will go ahead with auctioning of the dumps (low grade iron ore rejects) to begin with the economic activity and exports from Goa, after Supreme Court vacates its stay on the mining, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters here.

“What we are telling the court is very clear that till experts are consulted, we will not start the mining activity,” he said, adding that the expert body has to come out with a clear plan on sustainable mining.

However, he did not specify any agency for conducting the study.

“Even if Supreme Court gives any decision, we don’t want to start the mining unless we carry out a comprehensive assessment,” he said.

The extraction and transportation of ore in the state has been kept on hold by the apex court since September last year, pending inquiry from Central Empowered Committee (CEC) which is probing the allegations of illegal mining.

In the meantime before the mining starts, the state government will auction the dumps and start exporting it if the Supreme Court vacates stay on the ore extraction, Parrikar said.

“Only the dumps that are environmentally permissible to be handled would be touched...We expect to export 20—25 million tones of ore,” he said.

The Parrikar-led government had recently filed an affidavit in the apex court requesting early resumption of mining, which is countered by Goa Foundation, on whose petition the Supreme Court imposed interim ban on mining in the state.

(This article was published on February 27, 2013)
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