Vedanta Resources, the London-listed global mining giant, said it will today restart iron-ore mining at its mine at Codli in Sanguem taluka in Goa.
“The Company has received the relevant consent, license and approvals in place to commence the iron-ore mining operations in the State of Goa for some of its leases,” Vedanta said.
The company has been granted approval for total extraction of 5.5 million metric tons of which Codli is 3.1 million metric tons, it said.
Iron ore mining in Goa had been suspended by the courts due to widespread violations of law, including environmental norms.
“Till date, five mining plans and schemes for Company’s mines have been cleared by Indian Bureau of Mines and we are awaiting clearance of further 15 plans. Over the balance monsoon period we anticipate receiving these approvals and expect a full scale resumption post monsoon,” it said.
The inauguration ceremony at Vedanta’s Codli mine was graced by Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar, Chief Minister of Goa.
“We have done all what we could to restart mining and will continue to do whatever is required. I had given a date of October to restart mining and Vedanta has surprised me by reopening 2 months earlier. I appreciate this early restart by Vedanta. I also appeal to all other miners to emulate Vedanta and restart as soon as they can. The government will do all that can be done to support everyone who is affected by the mining ban. We can say now that ‘Achchhe Din Aa Gaye Hain’” said Parsekar at the venue.
“We will need to work hard to regain market share in very difficult markets. This will take close cooperation between the industry, the Government and all stakeholders to ensure we can reopen on a competitive basis,” said Tom Albanese, CEO, Vedanta.
Kishore Kumar, CEO, Vedanta’s Iron Ore Business, said the resumption of mining will resume the employment of many mining dependent people.”
“I urge the government to note the current market scenario, with the steep downturn in prices, and more importantly resolve the issue of dumping of ore outside lease areas for Goa mining to be viable. And I assure you that with the support of the government, we will put our best efforts to make the economics work for all to ensure our operations bring in economic and social improvements. Together we can win back the market and confidence to truly explore the potential of the iron ore industry in Goa and in India,” he added.
Even as India and in particular miners from Goa look to regain lost markets, Iron ore markets /prices are weak and the international trade environment remains challenging, the company said.
Prior to the suspension of mining in 2012, India was the third largest exporter of Iron Ore and Vedanta Ltd was the largest Indian exporter of low grade Ores.
Vedanta’s mining operations in Karnataka resumed in February 2015.