Mining has been a very important element in the economic history of modern Goa and a significant foreign exchange earner for the state. Recently, it has been designated as the industry at par with tourism. It has provided the trigger to boost economy of the mining talukas. Certain natural factors like the presence of coastline, a very good natural harbour at Marmugao and a number of navigable perennial rivers have promoted the economic exploitation of mineral deposits. Transport of ores by barges is the cheapest option as compared to road and rail transport. Goa is a major iron ore exporting state and over 60% of Country's iron ore export is from Goa. In terms of foreign exchange earnings it amounts to nearly Rs.1000 crore per annum. Mining in Goa is done by open cast method which necessitates the removal of overburden overlying the iron ore formations. On an average about 2.5 to 3 tones of mining waste has to be excabvated so as to produce a tone of iron ore. The average annual production of iron ore is about 15 to 16 million tones, in the process removal of which about 40 to 50 million of mining waste is generated. Such a huge quantity of mining waste creates a problem for its storage thereby causing severe environmental pollution. Mining Belt of Goa
Impact on Environment
Mining has also created a degraded environment and is also a matter of concern. Damage to the environment is mainly done by the reject dumps, pumping out of muddy waters from the working pits including those where the mining operations have gone below the water table, and slimes from the beneficiation plant. The damage is more evidenced during monsoon where the rain water carries the washed out material from the waste dumps to the adjoining low-lying agricultural fields and water streams. It is stated that the slimes and silts, which enter the agricultural field are of such character that they get hardened on drying. The washed out material from the dumps and the flow of slimes from the...
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