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A month after suspending operations at its Bicholim iron ore mine in Goa due to labour unrest, mining conglomerate Vedanta on Thursday said it has ‘revoked the suspension order’ with immediate effect. The striking workers, however, said they will not resume duties till their demands are met by the company management.
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“Vedanta Sesa Goa Iron Ore revoked the suspension order in the Bicholim mines with immediate effect. The management took the decision after employees appealed to resume work,” a company spokesman said on Thursday. “We decided to revoke the suspension of operations after several requests were made from various quarters: employees, villagers, transporters and contractors etc who are dependent on mining for their livelihood. The management sincerely hopes that wise counsel will prevail on the employees/workmen and normal operations will continue,” the spokesman added.
The operations at the mine were suspended on October 13, citing concerns over the safety and security of employees. The mining site has environment clearance limit of 0.90 metric tonnes out of total 5.5 MT capacity of Vedanta’s iron ore mining sites across the coastal state.
In mid-October, while suspending the operations of the mining lease, Vedanta had said, “The management of Sesa Mining Corporation through this publication would hereby like to inform that union representatives along with their workmen have been continuously indulging in illegal and unjustified acts.”
The mining site has around 462 direct and 190 indirect employees. Goa produces low grade iron ore (Fe content below 58 per cent), which is exported to China. After removal of the mining ban by the Supreme Court in 2014, the state is allowed to mine 20 million tonnes, with the highest share of 5.5 million tonnes going to the firm led by Anil Agrawal. Vedanta mines iron ore in Goa from the Codli and Bicholim mines. It also has a met coke and pig iron plant, besides a captive power plant in the state.