Iron ore shipments commence at Mormugao Port

Iron ore handling has commenced at Mormugao Port following an easing of the ban by the Supreme Court on the sale of iron ore, which has already been mined while continuing the ban on extraction of ore.

The first shipment of 70,000 tonnes of iron ore in Goa is reported to have left the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) on Saturday after an 18-month-long ban on iron ore extraction.

After getting a bank guarantee of Rs16 crore, MPT on Thursday let the ship Jindal Varad dock at berth No 9. The loading of the ship will begin on Friday morning and the first shipment will leave for China.

The mechanical ore handling plant of Mormugao Port is highly versatile capable of loading a Panamax size vessel in a single day.

The government of Goa had in February invited bids for e-auction of about 11 million tonnes of ore lying at various locations following a Supreme Court order. The SC has allowed buyers to ship the ore overseas or sell locally.

Out of this, around 1.7 million tonnes of iron ore has been sold through e-auction.

About 2 lakh tonnes of ore has been lying at Mormugao Port.

The Supreme Court banned extraction and transportation of iron ore in Goa and neighbouring Karnataka on 5 October 2012 in a bid to clamp down on illegal mining, thereby freezing shipments.

In September 2012, mining activities in the state came to a halt after the state government suspended them, following the Shah Commission report on illegal mining which was tabled in Parliament.