Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday assured the state Legislative Assembly that mining activities will resume in the state six months after the auctioning of leases.
Responding to a question by Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai on the floor of the House, Sawant said that the process of auctioning leases will be completed within the next five months and mining activities will resume in six months.
At least 88 iron ore mining leases will be taken up for auction, he said.
“The leases operating under one environment clearance (EC) will be considered as a single block to auction,” the chief minister said.
The ECS will be transferred to a new leaseholder (who wins the bid) within 15 days, he said.
“As per the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, the ECs will be valid for two years and after that, the leaseholder will have to renew the same,” Sawant said.
In what seems to be a relief to small mine owners, the chief minister said one leaseholder will not be able to mine in more than a 10 sq km area.
“This means a person can take a maximum of three leases (to cover 10 sq km area),” he said, adding that small leases can be taken over by local mine owners.