43% ore exports from Goa illegally extracted: NGO

Last Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 18:38

Panaji: A leading NGO on Thursday claimed
that almost 43 percent of the ore exported from Goa during
the financial year 2010-11 was illegally extracted violating
environmental norms and local laws.

Goa Foundation (GF), which has filed a series of
litigation in Bombay High Court at Goa against illegal mining,
said it has arrived at the figures on illegal extraction
banking on the official data submitted by two government
agencies - Indian Bureau of Mines and State Mines and Geology
department.

The ore export from Goa has been under scanner during
last year after central government appointed Justice M B Shah
Commission initiated the enquiry. The final report of the
enquiry is yet to be submitted to the Centre.

The corresponding figures available from both the
agencies indicate that the illegally extracted ore export is
on rise compared to last year.

Goa Foundation`s Claud Alvares said it was around 33 per
cent for the year 2009-10. The ore production statistics was
provided to the NGO by both the departments in response to the
PILs filed before the High Court.

Goa government`s directorate of Mines and Geology in
their affidavit filed before the court in 2010-11 had said
that total production was 48.38 million tonnes, while the
actual exports were 54.3 million tonnes, which means there is
no record of 5.65 MT ore.

"Obviously no royalty was paid on this 5.65 MT ore,"
Alvares said.

Interestingly, Directorate of Mines and Geology in their
affidavit had stated that 91 mine leases were operational in
the state.

"During the same time IBM claimed the number of leases as
114 leaving 23 working leases unaccounted for," he said.

Similarly, the figure of ore dumps which are kept aside
on the mining site is also not matching between two government
agencies. While state government department says that during
the year 2009-10, 12.60 MT ore was produced, the IBM figure
states that it was 5.49 MT.

"Based on the information provided by DMG in 2009-10, 39
mining leases with EC limit of 17.31 M.T, on their own
produced 24.64 M.T that is an excess of 7.33 MT," Alvares
said.

In 2010-11, though the number of mines involved in
excess production reduced from 39 to 31, the excess production
increased compared to the earlier year.

The combined EC limit of 31 leases was 14.82 M.T while
they actually produced 27.06 MT ? an excess of 12.24 MT. Even
data from IBM confirms that in 2009-10, 31 mining leases
exceeded their target by 3.26 MT while the dumps production in
excess was 7.11 MT, i.e a total of 10.37 MT, Alvares said.

PTI




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