Metal and mining conglomerate Vedanta has suspended mining operations at its Bicholim iron ore mine in Goa from Thursday due to labour unrest.

“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,” said Vedanta, led by billionaire Anil Agrawal.

“Therefore in the compelling circumstances, the company with a heavy heart has decided in the interest of safety and security of all its employees to suspend the operations/ work at SMCL Bicholim mine with effect from October 13,” it said in a public notice on Friday.

The company directly employs about 650 people at the Bicholim mine.

Presently, workmen are abstaining from work themselves and also not allowing any employees, contractors and their labourers to discharge any work at the Bicholim mines, said the notice.

It is beyond the control of the management to continue operations at Bicholim mine due to the systematic and deliberate action created by workmen, Vedanta said.

Vedanta mines low grade iron ore (Fe content of below 58 per cent) from the Codli and Bicholim mines in Goa and export it to China.

Post-removal of mining ban in 2014, the State was allowed to mine 20 million tonnes, with allocation of highest share of 5.5 mt going to Vedanta. It also has a met coke and pig iron plant, besides a captive power plant in the State.


Breach of settlement

Employees willing to work have been forcibly evicted. They have also resorted to illegal means with malafide intention by gathering in front of the company gate and preventing anyone from entering the company premises, said the notice.

Workmen are not reporting for duty in their scheduled shift and there is continuous breach of existing settlement and agreed service conditions.

The workmen and the union collectively through their illegal and unjustified acts prevented the company to continue mining operations, it added. “As a result, all the operations at the mines have come to a standstill,” Vedanta said.