Odisha lets 3 more mines to reopen

Bhubaneswar: The State government today ordered reopening of three more closed mines basing on the recommendations of inter-departmental committee on mines. Talking to mediapersons, State Mines minister Prafulla Mallik said the lease holders have been asked to sign supplementary lease deed of the concerned mines.

The inter-departmental committee headed by Development Commissioner U.N. Behera, which had met on April 25 to extend the lease validity of 11 iron ore and manganese mines, had recommended reopening of three mines belonging to R.P Sao, H.G Pandya and others and Orissa Manganese and Minerals Ltd.

Out of the 11 non-captive mines, the proposal for reopening eight mines was rejected as they did not have the required documents.

The three mines, whose proposals were cleared, would sign lease deeds with the government within three months for operation of the mines, said Mallick.

Earlier on April 16, the Government had approved the recommendation of the panel on mines headed by Development Commissioner U N Behera for reopening of 26 closed mines under the new Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.

The Supreme Court, in its May 16, 2014 order, had asked the State Government to halt operation in the 26 mines which were waiting for second and subsequent renewal, saying that automatic renewal of mining lease after 20 years of first renewal was illegal.

}