Vedanta hopes to start mining in Goa in IInd half of this year

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Metal and mining major Vedanta Resources hopes to start iron ore production from its mines in Goa in the second half of this financial year.

"We are engaging with the state government and the Ministry of Environment and Forest to gain approvals for starting mining on our leases in Goa, and we expect production to start in the second half of the financial year," Vedanta said in its annual report.

The Supreme Court in April this year had lifted the ban on mining in Goa with certain conditions. The ruling imposed an interim restriction on the maximum annual excavation at 20 million tonnes per annum from the mining leases in the state.

"This restriction (of 20 million tonnes) was subject to a determination of final capacity by the expert committee appointed by the court. The court also ruled that all mining leases in the state of Goa, including those of Sesa Sterlite, expired in 2007," it said.

As a result, no mining operations can be carried out until the renewal and execution of mining lease deeds by the state government.

At the close of the reporting year, the company was working towards securing the necessary permissions to resume operations at the earliest opportunity.

The court further directed that the entire sale value arising out of the e-auction of inventories should be appropriated for various purposes specified in the order, with only the average cost of excavation of iron ores to be paid to the mining lessees.

Further, all sales of iron ore will attract a payment of 10 per cent of the sale price to be made by all lessees to the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund.

Vedanta Group firm Sesa Sterlite had participated in e-auctions of inventory in the state and sold 0.3 million tonnes during the quarter.

In Karnataka, following the clearance from the court to resume operations at Karnataka, the company has optimised its approved capped annual capacity of mining at the site.

"Operations restarted on December 28, 2013 and resulted in production of 1.5 million tonnes in this reporting year. However, only 27,000 tonnes were sold during the year," it said.

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