India's western Goa state suspends mining

September 10, 2012

India’s western Goa state temporarily suspended all mining activities after an expert panel formed by the federal government found “serious illegalities and irregularities” in mining operations, the state government said in a statement late on Sept. 10, Reuters reported.

Goa, India’s second largest iron ore producer, has not banned movement of iron ore already produced and stored at ports or in transit, the statement said. The state will form a verification and clearance committee to scrutinize operations before giving approval to resume mining, R K Verma, principal secretary at mines and geology, said in a statement.

Goa produces more than 50 Mt/a (55 million stpy) of iron ore and exports almost all of it, making it the top exporter. Sesa Goa Ltd , an Indian unit of London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, gets most of its iron ore from mines based in Goa state.

The mining-suspension order came a week after the Supreme Court partially allowed mining in neighbouring Karnataka state following a ban of more than a year.

India used to be the world's No. 3 iron ore exporter, with most of its product heading to China. But a clampdown on illegal mining in 2010, and New Delhi's measures to keep output for domestic steel mills, slashed exports in half.



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