Goa mines and geology department has ordered that exporters present NOCs before loading iron ore on ships
In a bid to contain illegal export of ore from Goa, the state mines and geology department has ordered that exporters present no-objection-certificates (NOCs) before loading iron ore on ships anchored at the ports in Goa.
This is in contravention to an earlier order which mandated exporters to get an NOC only after the consignment was loaded and the ship was ready to sail. Director of mines and geology Prasanna Acharya said that the circular had been issued to both the ports and customs departments "not to allow loading of ore in the ships without NOC from the department".
Since 2011, when the illegal extraction of iron ore controversy erupted, the department had put in place a rider that no ship with an ore consignment will leave the port without an NOC from the state government.
This, according to the department, was to trace the source of ore and confrim if it was illegally extracted. The exporters loads the ore in the ships and then waited for NOC. In a diversion from this one-year-old rule, the department has now said that the ore even before it was loaded on the ship, had to be certified by department in the form of an NOC.
Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Panaji Minor Port has been asked to strictly adhere to the circular to ensure that illegal ore does not cross state's borders. Acharya said that the NOCs are issued only after the mining lease holder certifies that it has been legally extracted.
Goa was shocked with a multi-crore illegal mining scam wherein the ore was indiscriminately tapped and exported evading royalty and violating environmental laws. The state is one of the major iron ore exporters in the country.
During last financial year, 43 million tonnes of ore was shipped out of the state through both ports, almost 30% less than the earlier fiscal.