4-week deadline for mine owners to handover explosives in K’taka

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Coal mine.
Coal mine.

Karnataka warns mine and quarry owners to handover ‘extra stockpile of explosives’ hoarded by them within four weeks or they would lose their licence, Mines and Geology minister, Murugesh Nirani said here on Friday.

The minister issued this warning following two separate blasts that occurred in stone quarries in just a month’s gap. First blast took place in Shivamoggga, where explosive laiden truck exploded and killing six persons on January 22 while second blast occurred in a quarry situated in Chikkaballpur on February 23 killing six persons.

After reviewing the progress and mining activities of Hatti Gold Mines in Lingasgur in Raichur, Nirani told reporters that officials are directed to conduct through inspection and recover illegally hoarded explosive materials. “Licences of those mine owners who fail to return the ‘hoarded’ explosives will be cancelled,” he said.

The minister said that those who fail to discharge their duties would face the music. “We have received repeated complaints against some errant officials and their involvement in illegal mining activities. We will not protect anyone and government will initiate strict disciplinary action against such officials,” he said.

On Hatti Gold Mines, NIrani added that the state government had already prepared a blueprint to modernise Hatti Gold Mines and soon work. “The gold production here has reduced due to Covid-19 pandemic but now will rebound.”

According to the HGML website, the Chitradurga unit’s operations for gold mining and processing ore have been temporarily suspended and the company has diversified into wind farm projects. The Hutti Gold Unit (HGU) in Raichur district is a fully integrated facility with a capacity to produce 5,50,000 tonnes per annum.

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