Sesa striving for 7-8 MT iron ore production in Goa

NEW DELHI, Nov 2:  Striving for seven-eight million tonnes of iron ore production in Goa, Sesa Sterlite is likely to resume operations at some of the closed mines in the state during January-March after a two-year ban.
This huge relief to billionaire NRI Anil Agarwal-led company comes on the back of the direction of the Goa Bench of Bombay High Court that the state government should renew 28 mining leases, which have already paid the stamp duty.
“The government will be doing a case-by-case study on the mines in Goa. As a result, we hope to get it resolved in the near-term. We will be in a position to begin production in the first quarter of calendar year 2015,” Sesa Sterlite CEO Tom Albanese told PTI.
“We estimate that if all goes well, we can resume capacity to about 50-55 per cent of the rate we were producing before the closures two years ago,” he added.
Sesa Sterlite has 14-15 iron ore leases in Goa. Before the mining activity was stopped in the coastal state, it used to produce around 14 million tonnes of the key steel making raw material out of the total 40 million tonnes production from the state.
Of the 28 mining leases likely to be renewed soon, Sesa Sterlite has 8-9 mines. The company has already paid the duty under Indian Stamp Duty (Goa amendment) Act, 2012 as part of the renewal process.
“The resumption of production would be encouraging and I think we have recognised that for the state of Goa, there will be an upsurge in the number of jobs an the infrastructure and transportation networks to support those mines, that would be of great benefit to the economy of Goa,” Albanese said.
Mining in Goa is closed and not a single mine has resumed operations despite the Supreme Court lifting the ban more than six months back in April this year.
The Supreme Court had banned mining in all mines in Goa in October 2012 after allegation of  illegal mining.
The apex court later while lifting the Goa mining ban in April had capped the production at 20 million tonnes per annum and had directed the state government to formulate a policy before granting leases. Accordingly, early October, the state had announced Goa Grant of Mining Leases Policy. (PTI)


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