'Nagaland to go ahead with mineral explorations'

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Kohima, Sep 2: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that his government is undeterred by the warnings of Naga underground outfits and will continue the exploration and exploitation of state's mineral deposits.

Addressing a press conference here last evening Mr Rio said that the government would go ahead with the oil exploration at Champang oil field in Wokha district despite the threat from NSCN (K).

He said efforts were on to bring in Naga civil societies and organizations to convince the Naga outfits opposing the presence of oil companies to extract petroleum in the state.

It will be a huge loss for us not to exploit the state's minerals, he said.

Several companies from abroad are willing to take up oil exploration in Nagaland but there have been hurdles from militants.

Champang oil deposit has around 20 million tonnes of hydrocarbon reserve.

ONGC had started exploration in 1981 but stopped in 1995 due to threat from militant groups. The landowners had also demanded an additional royalty of two per cent.


UNI

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