Govt. revokes bauxite mining leases given to APMDC

The Andhra Pradesh Government has revoked the leases given to A.P. Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) for mining bauxite spread in 1,520 hectares across the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam district over a 30-year period citing non-compliance with certain provisions of Mines & Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 and other rules.

These rules are Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and the Mineral (Other than Atomic and Hydrocarbon Energy Minerals) Concession Rules, 2016. It has also cited the unrest created by the proposed mining which resulted in acts of violence by Maoists and the recent murder of an MLA (K. Sarveswara Rao) and his close aide (S. Soma).

This is also in tune with the new Government’s resolve not to allow bauxite mining.

Six GOs

According to six separate GOs issued by Secretary (Mines) K. Ramgopal, the APMDC was given the mining leases to supply bauxite to Jindal South West Holdings Limited (JSWHL) and ANRAK Aluminium Ltd. (AAL) for the establishment of an alumina refinery and a smelter in Visakhapatnam district.

APMDC was mandated to secure forest clearances, the Consent for Establishment from A.P. Pollution Control Board and environmental permissions from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The Director of Mines and Geology (DMG) has reported that APMDC did not obtain the consent for operation of the mines and erect boundary pillars and fencing as per the conditions in the Forest Clearance orders and the consent for establishment due to serious security problems in the wake of the killing of a few persons by Maoists who have been opposing the bauxite mining.

Lease deeds

Further, the DMG has stated that APMDC failed to execute the lease deeds within the stipulated time as specified in the Mineral Concession Rules, 1960 and no extension of time was granted in its favour by the government for execution of the said deeds. The government has, therefore, revoked the leases as per Rule 7 of the Mineral (Other than Atomic and Hydrocarbon Energy Minerals) Concession Rules, 1960.

The APMDC was supposed to extract bauxite in Ananthagiri, Chintapalli, Galikonda and Jarrela areas of Visakhapatnam district for supplying the ore to JSWHL and AAL. These companies had a dispute with the APMDC over contractual rights and other issues, and there were certain objections raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on matters of corporate governance.

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 8:51:58 PM |

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