Govt approves reopening of 7 more mines

Bhubaneswar: The State government’s inter-departmental committee on mining today approved reopening of seven more mines as per provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.

“The committee has decided to recommend extension of the lease period of seven mines of the total eight proposals placed before it. In one case, some more information is required before making recommendations for its resumption,” Director of Mines Deepak Mohanth told reporters.

The committee headed by Development Commissioner U N Behera, verified the documents submitted by the owners of eight mines, Mohanty said adding, seven of them passed the scrutiny.

“We hope the committee’s recommendations will get the state government’s approval within three-four days,” Mohanty said.

The eight mines whose proposals were placed before the committee were RB Das Iron and Manganese Ore, Tarini Prasad Mohanty Iron Ore and Manganese Ore, Tarini Minerals (P) Ltd Iron Ore and Mala Ray and Others, Iron and Manganese Ore under Joda Circle, B C Mohanty and Sons (P) Ltd Chromite Ore and Tata Steel Chromite Ore under Jajpur Circle, Gitarani Mohanty, Iron Ore under Koida Circle and Gandhamardan Sponge Iron Ore at Putlipani in Keonjhar.

The lease period of all these non-captive iron ore and manganese mines had expired last year. However, their lease period was extended based on the provisions of the new MMDR Act, the official said.

The state government has initiated the process for reopening of closed mines under the MMDR Act, 2015. Earlier, the state government had allowed the reopening of 29 mines in the state.

The lease period for captive and non-captive mines have been extended till 2030 and 2020 respectively under the amended MMDR Act.

Out of a total of 29 mines, the reopening of which have been approved by the state government, 20 mines have already signed the supplementary lease deeds.