GMOEA opposed to capping of ore extraction



Panaji: The Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) on Friday advised against capping of ore extraction in the state and said mining companies should take a call on the issue.

"Any cap is generally a deterrent. Prima facie a deterrent is always debatable to any trade chamber due to differing opinions. Each one of course, has its own merits, GMOEA spokesman told a news agency in an interview.

"Moreover we feel mining companies themselves should decide these issues," he said.

The thought of capping the upper limit of ore that could be extracted from Goan soil was given during last assembly session after environmentalists pointed out that there has been extensive environmental degradation due to this activity.

Main opposition BJP had projected 35 million metric tonnes of ore extraction as the upper limit.

Now GMOEA has appointed Indian School of Mines for a Regional Impact Assessment Study for the Mining Industry in Goa.

"ISM has started the study. It will give some indication of the cap," the spokesman said. "However, having said this we also wish to add that adequate measures should be adopted to minimise the impact of such operations," he added.

Responding to a question, GMOEA said they don't support any illegal mining activity in the state.

The mining industry has said that the state authorities should also be clear about 'illegalities and 'irregularities in the mining sector.

"The facts of each case will differ and there cannot be a common conclusion for such cases," he said adding that mining can be said to be illegal if one is producing ore without having a valid mining lease under the MMDR Act or possibly working in notified forest areas without approval of the MoEF.

"Irregularities can mean not being in full compliance with numerous terms and conditions under which a lessee has to work a valid mining lease. The magnitude of the irregularity is an important factor to be considered," he added.

PTI