The state government has provided prospecting licence (PL) for laterite mining to Vedanta at Danga Deula hill in June 2014.
Villagers of Danga Deulo, Masiput, Dumuriguda, Kolab, Thatguda, Chandalguda, Champaguda, Rangabalikumbha, Kanhaiput and Lankaput said mining at Danga Deulo will not only affect the ecology of the region but will also be a threat to their lives as it will erode the soil and hit agricultural activities, which is their main source of livelihood.
After Vedanta’s hope to mine Niyamgiri hill in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts for bauxite were dashed when it was rejected at the palli sabhas in 2013, the company applied for laterite deposits in Koraput and Rayagada districts as it contains certain percentage of bauxite for its Lanjigarh refinery.
In June 2014, the state government had issued PL to Vedanta to explore laterite mine at Dango Deula hill spread over 150 hectare.
Last year, the villagers opposed joint verification of the hill by mining and company officials and last month the company officials were forced to stop collecting laterite samples from the hill after stiff resistance from villagers.
Mining officials posted at Koraput said from the PL stands valid for two years from the date it was issued and during this period the company is permitted to mine around 50 tonne laterite to find the bauxite content. If the alumina content is low, then the company will be granted 20 years of lease. If the content is high then the company has to apply for fresh mining lease.