According to the order of the Supreme Court, the Karnataka government has cancelled 51 iron ore mining leases in Category C.
Holders of these mines were charged of carrying out rampant mining illegally outside the lease area and hence the Supreme Court ordered for cancellation of the mining leases some months ago.
The apex court order is based on the report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), a body of the Supreme Court, which had categorised 166 mining leases in Karnataka based on the extent of violations of the mining rules.
It had classified 45 mining leases under Category A, 72 under Category B and 49 under Category C. Subsequently, the court had ordered for shifting two more mines from Category B to Category C. Category C mines are classified based on the extent of illegal mining of 10-15 per cent outside the lease areas.
The prominent leases in this category are Hothur Traders, Bharat Mines and Minerals, Associated Mining Company, Latha Mining Company, RMML, Trident Minerals, Matha Minerals, S B Minerals and VS Lad & Sons. Prior to the ban on mining in the state, these leases accounted for about 15 million tonne of iron ore production.
The court had also ordered for reallotment of Category C mines to steel mills for captive consumption through a transparent process. The state government has constituted a committee to finalise the modalities of reallotting these 51 mining leases.
In order to re-allot these mines in line with the direction of the court and the CEC, the government will take further actions, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said.