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Over 500 tonnes of manganese, iron ore seized

Over 500 tonnes of manganese and iron ore have been seized from Orissa's mineral-rich Keonjhar district in a continuing crackdown on illegal mining, an official said on Saturday.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2010 22:48 IST

Over 500 tonnes of manganese and iron ore have been seized from Orissa's mineral-rich Keonjhar district in a continuing crackdown on illegal mining, an official said on Saturday.

The officials seized 250 tonnes of manganese ore and 50 tonnes of iron ore Saturday from a forested area near Palasa village, some 320 km from here, Deputy Director (mines) U.C. Jena told IANS.

In a similar raid, 218 tonnes of iron ore were seized Friday from Thakurani forest area in the same district, he said.

"All the ores were laying scattered unclaimed," he said adding that with this the total seizure of manganese and iron ore in the district during the past one month has gone up to 2,000 tonnes.

Investigations into illegal mining in Orissa by various state and central agencies started after some politicians alleged in July that some mines were operating without licences.

Jena said the mining officials have seized more than 500,000 tonnes of iron ore of Rs.50 crore from various places in mineral-rich districts of Keonjhar and Sundergarh since July.

The officials have also seized about 7,000 tonnes of manganese ore from the region.

The district headquarter of Keonjhar is located at a distance of about 235 km from state capital Bhubaneswar. Sundergarh is its nearby district.