The state mines department has moved a file clearing ten mining leases, initiating a major step to resume mining operations halted for last two years in Goa. The file clearing the proposal of ten mining leases has been moved to state mines secretary, a senior mines department official said.

Five leases of Fomento Resources Group, three of Chowgule and Company Pvt Ltd and two of Agarwal Minerals Goa Pvt Ltd are being processed to operate, he said. The leases would be renewed by the state government under section 8(3) of Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

The Supreme Court, which had lifted the ban on state’s mining operations in April this year, had asked the Goa government to form a policy before allotting the leases.

The Manohar Parrikar-led government had recently passed the Grant of Mining Leases Policy which had decided not to auction them (leases), but to hand them over to original operators once they complete all the formalities.

The ten mining leases whose files are under process of clearance have already paid stamp duty to the government, the official said.

The state government has already collected stamp duty from 28 mining leases, including these ten, which would be taken up on priority for resumption of mining operations, he said.

Once the ten mining leases get a go ahead from the state government, the mine owners will have to get clearances, like the environment nod, from the Central government before actually starting the ore extraction, he added.

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