Federation of Indian Mineral Industries submits reports

Iron ore mining by 21 companies is likely to commence soon in the State, said a senior official of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) here on Wednesday. R.K. Sharma, Secretary General, FIMI, said that the organisation has submitted reports for 21 of the 44 A Category mines (those that have not committed any irregularities, according to the Central Empowered Committee, which was appointed by the Supreme Court).

A senior FIMI official told The Hindu that these 21 companies are likely to resume mining operations in about six months, which will result in supplies of about 5 million tonnes per annum. Reports on all 44 companies would be submitted in two or three months to the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, which has been entrusted by the Supreme Court to prepare Resettlement and Rehabilitation plans in the mined areas.

Mr. Sharma said that one mine belonging to a senior FIMI official had started operations, but had to be shut down because of a public interest litigation petition by Samaj Parivartan Samudaya.

‘Auction impractical’

Arguing against the auction of coal mines, as suggested by the Comptroller and Auditor General in its recent report, Mr. Sharma said that it is impractical. “Auction is not possible because prospective investors would not know the extent of the mineral deposits that are available in a block,” he said. He said that the first-come first-served principle is the “best mechanism” to attract prospecting companies.

The FIMI is organising a three-day mining exploration convention at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre from Thursday.

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