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Odisha To Renew 18 Iron Ore Mining Licences

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India's top iron ore producing state Odisha is likely to renew the licences of 18 iron ore mines shut since last year, a state official said, in a boost for local steel producers.
 
A panel of senior government officials in Odisha has recommended the reopening of the mines, which were closed last year due to non-renewal of years-old leases, the state’s mining director Deepak Kumar Mohanty said.
 
"We expect to complete the renewal process in 10 days," Mohanty said.
 
The re-opening of the 18 mines will raise iron ore output in Odisha state to 70 million tonnes this fiscal year, about the same level as before the mines were shut, from the 51 tonnes produced in the year ending March 31, the official said.
 
The panel has also recommended an extension of the lease period for eight separate mines in the state, which belong to Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India and Odisha Mining Corp and are currently operating under a so-called temporary express order, Mohanty said.
 
The Supreme Court last year ordered the closure of nearly half of the 56 mines operating in Odisha because they were operating without a renewal of years-old leases.
 
The inter-departmental committee on mines headed by Development Commissioner U.N. Behera suggested the state government on Saturday to reopen the 26 mines under the provisions of the new Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.
 
The 26 mines that got recommendation of the committee included the 18 mines earlier closed for second and subsequent renewal following the Supreme Court orders on May 16, 2014.
 
(Agencies)