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Mining On

Mining business in Goa is a major source of energy for generating revenue and filling the kitty of government without which Govt. of Goa cannot take up any major development works; especially here I am referring to the development of tourism infrastructure in Goa for the coming season. It’s to be recalled that mining in Goa was banned by the supreme court of India in year 2012 and due to that hundreds of homes depending on mining business had suffered severe setback, in fact Goa Prism has carried out an article on this issue earlier. The closure of mining made entire movement of funds to stay stagnant which later transformed into lack of fund flow in the market. People connected with mining business moved out of Goa to other locations and thus diverting the funds to other states. People connected with other businesses have stopped investing due to uncertainty in the marketplace. Property rates slashed down in Goa, new construction projects got help up and old projects did not get sale as expected, overall every business suffered a big setback.

On 21st April 2014 Supreme court lifted the ban on Goa Mining and allowed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes of iron ore excavation, down from earlier 40 MT. However, the apex court said there will be no grant of lease for mining around one km of national parks and wild life sanctuaries. While passing the judgement, the Supreme Court also said the Ministry of Environment and Forests to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months. (Sourse PTI)

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Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar claimed that the Supreme Court order in the mining case has vindicated his stand that no action could be taken against those named in the Justice M B Shah Commission of inquiry without proper investigation by the police. “The court has said that unless the parties are heard, it cannot proceed against them and therefore cannot direct the government to prosecute anyone,” Parrikar told PTI reacting to the judgement which has allowed mining in the state, though with several restrictions.

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Goa government had taken a stand before the court that “no action will be taken against the mining lessees only on the basis of the findings in the report of the Justice Shah Commission without making its own assessment of facts and without first giving the mining lessees the opportunity of hearing and the opportunity to produce evidence in their defense.”

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Upholding the state government stand, the court had said that it cannot direct prosecution of the mining lessees on the basis of the findings in the report of the Justice Shah Commission, if they have not been given the opportunity of being heard and to produce evidence in their defence and not allowed the right to cross-examine and the right to be represented by a legal practitioner before the Commission.

When the mines went quiet, about 100,000 people lost their jobs, including the truck drivers, mechanics, port workers and barge deckhands that supported the industry, according to the Goa government. Those thrown out of work equaled 7 percent of Goa’s population, though the actual figure is in dispute and may be higher. The court announced a partial lifting of the ban, now into its second year, to allow some mining to restart. Yet officials in the industry say Goa’s iron ore mines may take months to make a comeback because the infrastructure has collapsed and former customers have gone elsewhere. All mining in the state after 2007 will be considered illegal, the court said in its order, because the licenses expired that year. The miners, who continued to operate pending renewal, will have to seek fresh licenses before resuming work. Mining may not start before October, said Giriraj Daga, a Mumbai-based analyst at Nirmal Bang Equities Pvt.

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“The decline in ore exports from India has significantly supported global prices at a time when low-cost capacity ramp-ups in Australia and Brazil are putting prices under pressure,” said Hoffman, global head of metals and mining research at Bloomberg Industries. “There’s a concern that rising supplies may lead to a crash in iron ore prices.” The over-supply scenario, coupled with China’s preference for high-grade ore to curb pollution, will make the typical lower grade and higher sulfur content of Indian ore, unattractive. Fonseca, meantime, continues his efforts to save jobs. His appeal to India’s labor secretary in January to block a Sesa Sterlite plan to lay off workers succeeded. “Transport providers are in great distress and mining companies may have to consider some financial assistance for them,” said Timblo at Fomento Resources. “Without them, starting the mines will make no sense.”

Overall though the mining will start in Goa again but the consequences will be totally different then expected. The reformation will take time and so the financial restructuring. Lets wait and watch. If you find this article informative and useful please write to us on https://goaprism.com/readers-updates/ and will keep you update with following this issue.

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