BHUBANESWAR: The inter-departmental committee on mines has reportedly recommended the State Government to consider reopening of five more iron ore mines. The committee, headed by Development Commissioner UN Behera, on Saturday examined the status of 11 closed iron ore mines in Odisha and the feasibility of their reopening.
“The committee found that none of these mines had statutory clearances to operate and all of them were non-captive mines. The panel discussed the validity of extending the lease period of these mines under the new provisions of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 that came into force on January 12 this year,” Director of Mines Deepak Mohanty told reporters after the meeting.
However, informed sources said the committee found that lease period of five of the 11 mines have not lapsed though mining operation have been suspended due to lack of statutory clearances. The committee has reportedly recommended the State Government to consider the case of the five mines for reopening.
On April 18, the State Government had extended the lease period of 26 mines and issued orders to the companies to execute supplementary lease deeds within three months following approval of the recommendations by the inter-departmental committee.
The inter-departmental committee on mining had recommended the State Government on April 4 for extension of the lease period of 26 closed mines in the State, which had not violated lease terms. The committee had recommended reopening of these 26 closed mines in accordance with the provisions of the amended MMDR Amendment ACT, 2015.