BHUBANESWAR: The inter-departmental committee on mines has reportedly recommended to the State Government to consider reopening of seven more mines, including two chromite mines.
The committee, headed by Development Commissioner UN Behera, on Wednesday examined the status of six closed iron ore and two chromite mines and the feasibility of their reopening.
If the recommendation of the panel is accepted by the State Government, the lease period of these non-captive mines will be extended till 2020.
The committee found that five of the six non-captive iron ore mines had statutory clearances to operate.
“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 said.
The lease holders of the five iron ore mines recommended by the committee for reopening are Geetarani Mines, Gandhamardan Sponge Iron, Tarini Minerals, T P Mohanty and R B Das.
The iron ore mine of Mala Roy and Sons was deferred due to want of some statutory clearances.
“The Forest Department and the Directorate of Mines have been asked to do the needful for obtaining necessary clearances for grant of renewal to the lease holder,” official sources said.
The committee is reported to have recommended to the State Government to consider the Sukinda chrome ore mining lease of Tata Steel for non-captive purpose. The mining lease of Tata is coming under second and subsequent renewal.
The chromite mines of B P Mohanty was also recommended by the inter-departmental panel for renewal.
The State Government has so far extended lease period of 29 mines as per the amended MMDR Act, 2015. On April 18, the State Government had extended the lease period of 26 mines.