Goa’s mining ban to continue, Indian Supreme Court says

India’s Supreme Court has banned the transportation of illegally mined ores out of Goa and ordered the state and central governments to maintain the ban on mining operations in the state.

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The court made the ruling after hearing a petition filed by a non-governmental organisation, the Goa Foundation, which had cited a report by the Justice M. B. Shah Commission on illegal mining and export of iron ore in Goa.

According to the report, all 90 mines in the state were operating without mandatory permission from the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) and 33 of these mines were within 1.5km of zones designated by the board as eco-sensitive.

The court also appointed the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on environmental issues to determine the extent of losses arising from the illegal export of iron ore from the state. The committee will submit its report on this within four weeks.

“After the ban on the transportation of the ores, prices will increase further in the country,” a source in Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Assn told Steel First on condition of anonymity.

Steel First had reported on September 12 that Goa’s Department of Mines and Geology ordered a suspension of mining activities in the state till further notice.

But the state government then did not ban the transport of ores that had already been mined before September 10.

The Supreme Court had also banned iron ore mining in the state of Karnataka but recently lifted the ban on Category A mines in the state.