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Karnataka urges SC to allow 117 mining firms to restart

The Karnataka government has urged the Supreme Court to allow 117 mining companies to resume iron mining in the state.

The Central Empowered Committee appointed by the apex court to probe illegal mining in the state, had recently recommended for permitting these mines to restart mining.

Mr SV Ranganath chief secretary government of Karnataka in an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court said that “It is learnt that a few mines have been cleared by CEC, wherein no significant illegality or irregularity has been noticed. These mines, classified as A category”, may kindly be allowed to operate without hindrance.”

Similarly, there are some other mines, which have been enumerated as “B category”, for reasons of some or the other kind of illegality or irregularity noticed by the CEC. He said that “Such mines may also be kindly allowed to operate and the state government would undertake to ensure all material a safeguard in place and due diligence is exercised by all agencies as per the orders of the Supreme Court.”

The chief secretary has further added the government will take whatever action as directed by the Supreme Court in respect of those mines classified under “C category.”

The CEC in its report submitted to the apex court on February 3, had recommended for cancellation of 49 mining leases in the ‘C Category’ and re-auctioning of those leases as per the current market prices.

Some of the mines classified under ‘A category’ include NMDC, Mineral Enterprises Ltd, and two leases of Mysore Minerals Ltd, among others. ‘Category B’ includes Sesa Goa, MSPL, Sandur Manganese and Iron Ores Ltd and Mysore Minerals Ltd, among others.

The CEC has recommended for cancellation of ‘Category C’ leases after paying the penalty. They include Canara Minerals, Associated Mining, Trident Minerals, Deccan Mining Syndicate (P) Ltd and V S Lad & Sons, among others.

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