BHUBANESWAR: Minister of State for Steel and Mines Prafulla Kumar Mallick on Wednesday said that the inter-departmental committee on mines has recommended reopening of seven non-captive mines in the State.
The committee has recommended extension of lease period of these non-captive mines till 2020 as per the Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015. The mining leaseholders will be asked to sign supplementary lease deeds after approval from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the Minister told reporters.
On July 8, the State Government panel headed by Development Commissioner U N Behera had recommended five iron ore mines __ RB Das Mines, Tarini Minerals, Gitarani Mines, TP Mohanty Mines and Gandhamardhan Mines __ and two chrome ore mines __ Sukinda Chrome Ore Mines of Tata Steel and B C Mohanty Mines __ for lease extension.
The committee is stated to have recommended that Sukinda chrome ore mining lease of Tata Steel be considered for non-captive purpose. The mining lease of Tata is coming under second and subsequent renewal.
Though the committee had examined the iron ore mine of Mala Roy and Sons, it was deferred due to want of some statutory clearances.
Meanwhile, the State Government has extended lease period of 29 mines as per the amended MMDR Act and 21 leaseholders have signed supplementary lease deeds for reopening their mines. The Government has collected Rs 895 crore as stamp duty and registration fee, the Minister said.
The Government had allowed the lessees to sign the supplementary lease deeds within three months with all statutory clearances. As per the new MMDR Act, the captive mines will be allowed to operate till March 2030 while non-captive mines would operate till March 2020.
Industries’ associations of the State have been putting pressure on the Government for reopening of iron ore and chrome ore mines in view of the acute shortage of raw materials by the metal industries.
In a memorandum to Chief Secretary G C Pati last month, ferrochrome producers urged the Government to extend chrome ore mining leases where the mineral is used for purposes other than captive and asked the Odisha Mining Corporation to increase chrome ore.