Yearender: Worst not yet over for India's mining sector

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SummaryWhile ban on iron ore mining in Goa continued throughout 2013, production of the mineral in Karnataka is yet to stabilise.

2013 brought some good news as in April, the court lifted nearly 2-year ban with conditions. While leases of all Category 'C' mines (the most polluted and having maximum violations) were scrapped by the apex court, Category 'A' and 'B' mines were allowed to be reopened.

However, the production in the state is yet to stabilise as most of the mines have not been reopened due to a long clearance process. Total annual production by the private miners is expected to be 5-6 MT in 2013-14, which, together with NMDC's production, is unlikely to meet the local demand.

Among other issues, government failed to table the final Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Bill, 2011 in Parliament, even though a Parliamentary Standing Committee gave its recommendations in way back in May.

It proposed sharing of 26 per cent of the profits by the coal and lignite miners with people impacted by projects. For other miners, it has proposed to levy an amount equivalent to royalty paid by the companies to the state government for the project affected persons.

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