Industry bodies call for resumption of mining in Goa
Goa Mining People’s Front (GMPF), a body representing the south India state’s mining industry, has appealed to central and state government to restart mining activities by the end of the month.
Mining came to a halt in March 2019 after the Indian Supreme Court quashed 88 leases and banned extraction of fresh iron ore.
This followed a ban by the Indian Supreme Court in 2012 following the unearthing of a £3.54 million scam by a judicial commission appointed by the central government. Operations resumed in 2015 with restrictions but were then stopped after the apex court found the lease irregularities.
“We strongly urge ... the Chief Minister of Goa to stick to his assurance of (finding a) solution for Goa mining crisis by end of December 2019," said GMPF president Puti Gaonkar Gaonkar.
"Recently we have heard announcements through statements attributed to various MLAs in the state regarding the intention of the state to form state-run Mining Corporation for resumption of Goa mining but it does not seem to be a feasible solution as the Mines Ministry in its IA (interlocutory application) stated that there is a likelihood of conflicting rights being created unless the challenge to Abolition Act is decided by the Supreme Court."
Gaonkar emphasises that state-run corporations do not have the necessary expertise to conduct mining activities in Goa.
"We are firm on our demand of legislative amendment or a judicial solution ... for resumption of Goa mining. If the government fails to meet the deadline of this month end for recommencement of mining activities, they must provide relief package to all mining dependents from next month onwards," he asserts.
Mining is one of two major sources of livelihood in Goa, alongside tourism - which itself has suffered from the pandemic - and the complete shutdown has adversely impacted the livelihoods of more than 300,000 people.
When the mining industry was at its peak, mining extraction, trade and export accounted for 30 per cent of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.