Sesa Goa to resume mining in Karnataka by June

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Sesa Goa is looking to restart iron ore mining from Karnataka and expects a strong demand of the ore within the state, a top company official of its parent firm Vedanta Resources said on Thursday.

“We expect to resume mining in Karnataka by June… We are in the process of securing necessary clearances” Vedanta’s CEO M S Mehta said in a conference call, while announcing annual results of the company.

Noting that iron ore produced in Karnataka does not have the permission for exports, Mehta said that there is a “significant latent potential demand of iron ore within the state of Karnataka itself” and Sesa Goa is not looking to export the raw material from the state.

Sesa Goa’s mine in Karnataka’s Chitradurga district is among the mines on which the Supreme Court had lifted the ban last month.

However, its lease for the mine had expired in October last year and with that the forest clearance had also ended.

While the company can begin mining on deemed basis till the renewal of the lease, it requires forest clearance to do the same.

Last month, Sesa Goa’s Managing Director P K Mukherjee had said the company is in “advanced stages” of securing forest clearance for resuming mining. Sesa Goa’s mine was in Category-B. Before the imposition of ban by the Supreme Court in July-August 2011, the mine could produce 6 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of ore.

Now its capacity has been curtailed to 2.29 MTPA as the apex court has fixed an upper ceiling of 30 MTPA for iron ore production in Karnataka. Mehta also said Sesa Goa has filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking a stay on mining ban and restriction on ore transportation in the state.

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