HC grants temporary suspension of withdrawal of 25 lakh tonnes of ore mined from South Goa

The Bombay High Court in Goa on Saturday granted a temporary stay on the removal of 25 lakh tonnes of minerals extracted from a former mining concession area in Cuddegal, Santona, in south Goa. The Goa Foundation, an NGO, had filed a petition challenging the authorization granted to Mineira Nacional Limitada (MNL), a former mining lease holder, for the transportation of minerals on February 1.

The division bench of Judge Revati Mohite Dere and Judge MS Jawalkar observed that, at first glance, the inspection report indicated that it appeared that Respondent No.4-MNL had requested the transport of material to the area. rent. “As the Assistant Geologist observed, the ROM material in the subcategory was partly inside the mining lease and partly outside the lease on the west side of the lease line. It is further stated that the total area covered by this equipment is approximately 28.2 Ha, of which 5.2 Ha belong to the rental area. It thus emerges from said report that approximately 23 Ha are located outside the lease area, ”observed the court.

In an application filed on January 11, MNL had requested a permit from the Department of Mines and Geology to remove the ore mined before 2007 from its concession area. The Goa Foundation claimed that MNL had obtained a permit to transport ore worth 230 crore rupees, all of which was to go to the state of Goa. Instead, he settled for a royalty of Rs 20 crore, voluntarily giving public money to the former lessor, the petitioner said.

The foundation’s lawyer, Norma Alvares, argued that MNL falsely told authorities that the subcategory ore, generated from 1991, came from their rental property. She said the Jan. 25 inspection report from the Branch’s deputy geologist was to the contrary and showed that the underlay material was partly within the mining lease area and partly within. outside the west side of the lease line.

The Goa Foundation argued that no landfill mining was allowed since the expert committee report on landfill mining was still before the Supreme Court and it had not yet heard the case. “The DMG site inspection report made it clear that the permit was to remove the 2.5 million tonnes from landfill No. 3,” he submitted. Alvares said a suspension was necessary to prevent the operation of the landfill. She said the Supreme Court had set up the committee to advise it on the issue of “dump mining” in Goa and that the committee’s report is awaiting consideration by the highest court.

Advocate General Devidas Pangam opposed the provisional suspension and argued that the Supreme Court order concerned the discharge outside the leased area and not inside the leased area. He said the cabinet decision of February 23 as well as an opinion issued by him on October 29, 2020, were in agreement with the SC decision. Authorities, while allowing Respondent No. 4 (MNL) to transport the material from the dump, were fully aware of the Supreme Court’s decision, he said. MNL’s attorney, SS Kantak, supported the attorney general’s arguments, the court recorded.

The court asked the respondents to file response affidavits within two weeks and adjourned the case until December 17.

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