More iron ore mining permits soon

More iron ore mining permits soon

Karnataka will hasten the process of issuing leases to mine iron ore in the mineral-rich districts to improve the raw material supply to the steel industry, Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee said on Wednesday.

“We have decided to give soon new mining leases to achieve the 30 million tonnes of iron ore annual production set by the Supreme Court earlier and clarified Monday,” he said.
Though the apex court decided to hear on February 24 the government's petition to raise the annual iron ore production to 40 million tonnes, a three-judge bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik directed the government to allow mining to achieve the 30 million tonnes target.

The apex court had fixed the target on the recommendations of a central empowering committee set up by it to look into the environmental impact of mining on ecology. It was also meant to regulate the sector in view of the multi-crore mining scam in the state in the last decade.

“We will submit a detailed action plan to the Supreme Court before our petition comes for hearing (Feb 24) on how we propose to achieve the production target keeping in view the CEC guidelines on rehabilitation and resettlement plans,” Mukherjee said at the valedictory session of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) partnership summit here.

The Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturers Association discussed the issue with Mukherjee and Mines Secretary Tushar Girinath at the trade event.

The steel industry in Karnataka, which has a combined installed capacity of 19 million tonnes output annually, requires about 40 million tonnes of iron ore per annum as raw material.

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