Goa mining firms asked to install RFIDs

Panaji: Goa government has asked all the mining firms to compulsorily install Radio Frequency Identifications (RFIDs) on all the trucks ferrying ore and weighing bridges to tally the production and exports.

State Mines and Geology department in its order has said that those companies which fail to install RFIDs would be liable to lose their mining licence. Director of Mines Arvind Lolienkar has made Goa Mineral Exporters Association (GMOEA), an association of mine owner, as responsible for selecting the company for installing RFIDs. The move, however, has received mixed response with GMOEA stating that they do not have competence to select bidders for RFIDs.

GMOEA Executive Director S Sridhar said their association does not have the competence nor the charter to identify and recommend agencies to install and regulate the system of monitoring through RFIDS and associated technologies. "It is the responsibility of the state government," GMOEA said adding that they welcome the move to strengthen the monitoring system.

Goa government which has been struggling to explain the rampant illegal trading of iron ore from the state has asked the mining companies to install RFIDs at the mining site, weighing bridges, dumping plots and jetties, so that the total ore extracted and exported could be tallied. The firms have also been asked to install Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which will help to track down cargo from each truck. The state has 20,000 trucks, operating on 90-odd mining leases.

Lolienkar has admitted that several times, the trucks are overloaded and it becomes difficult to regulate them. The department expects that once RFIDs are in place, the task of tallying the ore would be simplified as the entire activity could be monitored online.