Not just match, Goa rains queer pitch for mining too

Panaji, Oct 23 (IANS) Rains are not just threatening to disrupt the India-Australia cricket match Sunday. The unprecedented October downpour in Goa, leading to turbulent seas, are also affecting the export of ore, a senior industry official said Friday.

Speaking to IANS, Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA) executive director S. Sridhar said while it would take time to assess exact losses, the rains had definitely affected the export of ore from ports.

‘We will be able to know the exact quantum of iron ore exports affected later in the month. But I can say that the exports have been hampered,’ Sridhar said.

With nearly 40 million tonnes of iron ore being mined out of open cast pits spread across the Goan hinterland, mining according to state government statistics is a Rs.6,000 crore industry and one of the mainstays of the state economy.

‘Rains are not a problem vis-a-vis mining extraction. But exporting is definitely an issue,’ Sridhar said, because of transportation hazards while carrying the ore to cargo ships which then transport it abroad, essentially to China.

According to state meteorological department chief K.V. Singh, atmospheric circulation off the coast of Goa and south Maharashtra had resulted in the unseasonal showers, which were expected to continue for a while.

‘The circulation off-Maharashtra is getting stronger and is drifting towards south Konkan and Goa region which has created this cloudy condition. It is likely to rain in the next 48 hours in several parts of the state,’ Singh said.

The rains have already put a question mark over the India-Australia cricket match at the Fatorda stadium in Margao, about 40 km from here.

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