Nagaland apathetic to Coal mining, environment
DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 4
NAGALAND has a number of important mineral resources but the state does not ‘seem too much concerned’ about their valuable holdings, according to a central regulatory body during a recent review. Unorganized and haphazard mining activities are causing environmental degradation while ‘huge quantity of coal’ exploited every year is not being reflected in the yearly resource national data on coal, the Central Geological Programming Board has said. The board stated in its meeting summary that Nagaland does not ‘seem’ concerned about the environmental degradation that unorganized and haphazard mineral exploitation in the state are causing. Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland are the three states that have ‘issues’ in this regard, according to the board.
The Central Geological Programming Board converged for its 52nd meeting on the 14th in New Delhi where officials from the north eastern states’ geology and mineral departments attended. The objective of the meeting was to discuss and finalize the Field Season Program of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for the Field Season 2013-2014.
The observations concerning the mining and environmental concerns in the state of Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland was an agenda, in fact.
“In the above context Mining Geological and Metallurgical Institute of India likes to state that besides Assam, Nagaland and Meghalaya have quite a number of mineral resources of which coal and limestone are the major ones,” the minutes of the board meeting stated.
“Though a number of issues are of concern in the CGPB’s for both the states, but neither of the states seems to be much concerned about their valuable mineral resources, vis-à-vis their present exploitation scenario particularly of coal and the most important factor viz., environmental degradations.” The board observed that the “DGMs” perhaps have no control on mining “because of the law of the land ownership.”
“Huge quantity of coal which is being exploited year after year is not being reflected in the yearly resource data of coal (published by GSI) erstwhile coal wing, now mission – IIB). Perhaps a relook is necessary by mission–IIB for both the states tertiary coal resource,” the members suggested in the summary of the meeting. Massive exploitation activities in the unorganized sector and haphazard mining are a serious threat that is causing loss of substantial quantity of resources of national interest, the board has said. The board has suggested ‘looking into the matter of environmental issues and (take) appropriate action for conservations of valuable coal resources for future, which otherwise may not be possible to recover.’
Limestone, coal and cobalt in Nagaland
According to the base document of the 8th CGPB committee on geology and mineral resources, Ministry of Mines, Nagaland has her biggest limestone deposit at Nimi in Tuensang district. The thickness of limestone varies from 9 m to 120m. The geology and mining department of Nagaland has established a reserve of 111.07 million tones, the document said. The limestone here is suitable for cement / paper / pulp industry.
There are also limestone deposits in Qazeho and Satuza in Phek district.
Likewise, there is a fairly large deposit of magnetite near Pokphur village in Tuensang district. “It has gained more significance because of its high content of Ni and (0.63% and 0.09% respectively). Total reserves of magnetite are 2.95 mt which lies in two blocks, one investigated by DGM, Nagaland (1.62 mt) and the other by the GSI (1.33 mt),” the document of the board said.
Coal is one of the biggest mineral resources Nagaland has. Tertiary coal has been found in Borjan in Mon district, according to the board. The geological Survey of India and the state’s department has established a reserve of 59 million tonnes of coal in total, the document says. Coal is also found in Mokokchung and Tuensang.
Further, according to the document Nagaland has an estimated 5 million tonnes of cobalt, 5, 280 tonnes of iron ore and nickel ore at around 5 million tonnes. Coal resources are at about 293.47 million tonnes, the board’s outline stated.