Four applicants for scientific mining licences have been approved by the Union Ministry of Coal, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma informed today.
Stating that Meghalaya is one step closer to start mining in a scientific manner, Sangma informed that a written communication was sent by the central government.
Rat hole mining was banned in Meghalaya by the National Green Tribunal in 2014. However, rampant illegal mining has carried on regardless, with opposition parties accusing government members and their associates of having a hand in the illegal trade. Only last week were three miners killed while working in an illegally-operating mine.
The four applicants will submit their mining plans as per the norms laid down and they should receive their licences to begin extraction shortly, the CM said.
The regions applied for are Kalagaw block, Nehlang block, Saryngkham A block and Pyndengshahlang block.
The Meghalaya and central governments framed rules in 2022 where standard operating procedures for prospecting licences and mining licences in the state were formed.
Once these SOPs were set up, the government received 17 applications for prospecting.