This is in contravention to an earlier order in which the exporter had to get NOC only after ore is unloaded in the ship and consignment is ready to sail. Director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya said that the circular has been issued to both ports and customs department ‘not to allow loading of ore in the ships without NOC from the department’. Since last year, when illegal iron ore controversy erupted, the department had put in place a rider that no ship will leave the port with the ore consignment without NOC from the state government. This, according to the department, was helping to find out source of ore and whether it was illegally extracted. The exporters used to load the ore in the ship and wait for NOC.
In a diversion to its one-year-old rule, the department has now said that ore even before it is laden in the ship, needs to be certified by department in the form of NOC. Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) and Panaji minor port has been asked to strictly adhere to the circular to ensure that illegal ore does not cross state sea borders. Acharya said that the NOCs are issued only after mining lease holder certifies that it has been legally extracted. Goa was shocked with a multi crore illegal mining scam wherein the ore was indiscriminately tapped from the earth and exported evading royalty and also disrespecting the environmental laws. The state has been a major exporter of iron ore in the country. During last financial year, 43 million tonnes of ore was shipped out of the state through both the ports, which was almost 30 per cent less than the earlier fiscal.