Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant has said he was hopeful that the Supreme Court would favourably consider a petition filed by the Goa government seeking that the apex court reassesses its 2018 order which brought mining to a halt.
In 2018, the top court had cancelled all 88 mining leases that were renewed by the Goa government in 2015 and asked the Goa government to issue fresh leases instead of renewing existing ones.
“The mining matter is scheduled to come up in court tomorrow (Thursday). We are hopeful that we will get justice. Looking at the country’s and the state’s financial condition, we want that the Supreme Court allows the resumption of mining. Goa has low-grade iron ore, which can only be exported. We are hopeful,” Sawant said.
The review petition, which was belatedly filed, is one of the two petitions before the Supreme Court on which the state is gambling to resume mining. The other is a special leave petition before the Supreme Court by Vedanta Ltd, the largest mining company that operated in Goa. The company which has challenged a decision by the Goa government to decline its request to amend their mining lease and extend the period from 1987 to 2037 i.e. for a period of 50 years in terms of Section 8(A)(3) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act).
The Goa government had declined to renew the leases citing the Supreme Court’s order which specifically barred the state from renewing leases and instead directed them to issue fresh leases if mining is to restart.
The Goa government is yet to begin the process of issuing fresh leases but has instead hinged its hopes on a favorable order from the top court.