While environmentalists are asserting for cap in the Iron Ore mining in Goa, State Mines and Geology department has conceded that there are 623 prospecting licences for mining leases pending with them.
A cabinet note moved on Monday has mentioned that state has 595 deemed leases, of which 410 applications for renewal are being processed. The department has told the state cabinet that there are 623 prospecting licences.
The Shah Commission, appointed by the Central government and state legislative assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is investigating into multi-crore mining scam, which has been estimated somewhere around Rs 1,200-10,000 crore.
The ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) has fixed a moratorium on new mining leases and renewal of old leases since last year onwards asking the state government to frame its mining policy.
While environmentalists and state’s main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are pressing for a cap on the iron ore to be tapped from Goa, the mining industry has said that 'any capping would be deterrent for their trade.'
Goa basically has low grade Iron Ore, which has received huge demand in the international markets after China boom of 2005 when the neighbouring country began building infrastructure for Beijing Olympics.
The state, which has mining as the biggest industry after the tourism trade, had received Rs 1,000 crore in the form of royalty earned on exports. As per the figures furnished on Monday, till date, between March to September, 2011, the state has earned Rs 450 crore as a royalty.
Of the twelve talukas, seven talukas has active mines. As per the figures provided by the state government to Shah Commission, there are 90 mining leases and total 54 million metric tones of Ore has been exported from Goa.