Bhubaneswar: Mine officials in Orissa have seized high quality manganese ore worth Rs.2 crore from the state`s mineral rich Keonjhar district, officials said Tuesday.
The ore was lying near Banspani railway station and there was no claimant. The ore was mined illegally by some people recently and was meant to be transported outside the state, an official said.
Local mine department officials spotted the ore Monday and seized it. "The station master has been asked to keep it in his custody," Deputy Director of mines U.C. Jena told agency.
Orissa has about 16 percent of the country`s mineral reserves.
Investigation into the illegal mining by various state and central agencies started after some politicians alleged in July that some mines were operating without licences.
Last month, the state mining department ordered suspension of work in 128 mines and suspended licences of more than 400 traders of different ores after they failed to produce documents to show that their mining activities were legal.
Keonjhar district is about 235 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.