Goa government has decided to lift the suspension order on mining leases and also formed a special investigation team (SIT) of state police to investigate into illegal mining in the state.
State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar told reporters on Tuesday that the suspension order issued in September 2012 against all the then working mining leases would be withdrawn in a phased manner, on case-to-case basis. However, Parrikar clarified that although the state government has decided to withdraw the suspension order, the mines would be able to start only after Supreme Court lifts the ban and Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) gives the environmental clearance for the mining leases.
After the government's order suspending the mining leases in 2012, the apex court had imposed temporary ban on extraction and export of the ore from the state asking Central Empowered Committee to probe the charges of illegality. State mines and geology department has decided to issue withdrawal of suspension order on about 24 to 30 mines, whose documents are clear, the chief minister said.
"Prima facie they are not under cloud, but if there are any irregularities found in these mining leases later on, we can still act," he said. The state has 90 working mining leases of which 12 leases may face direct suspension because they were allowed to be legalised without following a proper legal procedure by the former Congress-led government, he said.
Out of remaining total 80 mining leases, several may not get environment clearance due to various issues like their proximity to wildlife sanctuaries or national park, he said. At the end of the total procedure, around 50 mines would be operational in the state, Parrikar said.