Decision on lease extension to 8 mines soon

Bhubaneswar: The State government will soon take a decision on the reopening of eight mines whose mining leases have expired years ago.

The Inter-Departmental Committee, which met here today under the aegis of the development commissioner, received lease extension proposals of seven such mines from Steel and Mines department and sought more information on one Mala Roy (Jalahuri) reserve, sources said.

Mines director Deepak Mohanty said, “We’ll provide the information to the committee soon and after getting the panel’s recommendation we’ll send the same to the State government for approval.”

“We hope to receive the committee’s recommendation within 2-3 days,” Mohanty stated.

Besides Tata Steel’s Sukinda chromite mine, the high-level committee deliberated upon the case of BC Mohanty and Sons’ (Kamarda) chrome mines as well as the iron ore and manganese leases of RB Das (Dalpahar), Tarini Minerals (Deojhar), Gandhamardan Sponge Iron (Putuli Pani) and Gitarani Mohanty (Malimunda).

In toto, the State government has issued orders to extend the lease validity of 29 mines – 21 captive and the rest non-captive mines. Out of these 29 leases, 25 are iron and manganese ore mines. Supplementary lease deeds have been signed for 20 mines.

The lease deeds have been executed for mines owned by Tata Steel, Rungta Mines, Odisha Manganese & Minerals Ltd (OMM) and Aryan Mining & Trading Corporation Ltd (AMTC), to name a few.

The State government has so far garnered over Rs 700 crore from these miners by way of stamp duty and registration charges. The enactment of the new Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) or MMDR Act, 2015, has allowed extension of captive leases till 2030 and those of non-captive mines till 2020.