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Home / Industry / Manufacturing /  SC order renders all mining leases in Goa illegal: Parrikar

Panaji: The Supreme Court order on iron ore extraction has rendered all mining leases in Goa “illegal" and the state government will have to put in place a new mechanism to legalise them, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

He said the government is not inclined to follow the first come, first served principle and a transparent policy on offering the mines for operation will be ready by June.

The apex court on Monday lifted an 18-month-old ban on mining in Goa, but put an annual production cap of 20 million tonnes.

It passed a slew of directions for the Centre and Goa government for strictly regulating mining activities till an expert panel, set up by it, submits its final report.

In the wake of the order, the state will have to formulate a policy to decide the fate of these mines, besides giving legal status to the ore which was exported through these leases for five years (from 2007), Parrikar said.

The court said the mining leases which were working on the deemed renewal clause after 2007 stand cancelled.

The order also implies that the ore extracted after 2007 from these leases is state property.

Parrikar said that since the Goa Government had not renewed any lease, except one, after 2007 all the mines in the state have been rendered “illegal" as per the ruling.

“For every tonne of ore extracted during that period (2007-12) there has to be some mechanism to legalise it by the way of penalty or any other method," the Chief Minister said.

Parrikar hinted at filing FIRs against the mine owners who went ahead with the extraction of ore without renewing their mining leases after 2007.

Till 2012, there were 118 mining leases which were operational in the coastal state. The lease period of 10 years for all the mines had expired in 2007 after which the owners were supposed to apply for extension, but they continued operation without renewal.

Responding to a question, the Chief Minister said his officers will work out a policy which will decide whether to auction these leases, or take another route to give them for operations.

“Letting them cannot be on the principle of first come, first served basis. There will be a clear policy that will take into consideration many things. I have told my officers to work out a policy which is transparent," he said.

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