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Minor ore extractors will have to first seek nod from MoEF
May 11, 2012
PANJIM: The minor mineral extractors in the state will now have to seek permission from union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) before applying for the licence with the state Mines and Geology department, according to an order issued
the Mines department on Thursday following Supreme Court directives.
The directives stated that the leases of minor mineral including their renewal for an area of less than five hectares be granted by the States/Union Territories only after getting environmental clearance from the MoEF. The order was passed on February 27, in a petition filed by one Deepak Kumar and other v/s state of Haryana.
“All applicants for grants or renewal of quarrying lease are hereby directed to submit environmental clearance from MoEF to this department for processing their applications,” the Mines department order stated.
The Court, while passing the order has also cited several recommendations made by MoEF, which need to be followed while granting the license for quarrying.
Supreme Court was of the opinion that the mining of minor minerals, because of smaller size of mine leases is perceived to have lesser impact as compared to mining of major minerals.
However, the activity as a whole is seen to have significant adverse impacts on environment. “It is, therefore, necessary that the mining of minor minerals is subjected to simpler but strict regulatory regime and carried out only under an approved framework of mining plan, which should provide for reclamation and rehabilitation of the mined out areas,” the order stated.
The Court also stated that a proper framework has also to be evolved on cluster of mining of minor mineral for which there must be a Regional Environmental Management Plan.
Further, the Court directed that, while granting mining leases by the respective State Governments ‘location of any eco-fragile zone(s) within the impact zone of the proposed mining area, the linked Rules/Notifications governing such zones and the judicial pronouncements, if any, need to be duly noted’.
The Union Ministry of Mines along with Indian Bureau of Mines and respective State Governments has been asked to take necessary provisions in this regard under the Mines and Minerals Act, 1957, Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and adopt model guidelines to be followed by all States.