Cental panel, state to decide on raising iron ore cap today

Cental panel, state to decide on raising iron ore cap today

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) will hold a two-day meeting with the officials of Karnataka government here from Monday to finalise several issues pertaining to iron ore mining in the state, sources close to the development told DH.

The meeting follows a direction from the Supreme Court. Officials of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), Monitoring Committee and KIOCL will also attend the meeting to discuss and finalise the state government’s request for enhancing the cap on production of iron ore in the state to 40 million tonnes per annum.

The Supreme Court, earlier in April, had directed the CEC to discuss with the state government and other stakeholders of the mining industry to find out the need for relaxing the cap on production.

Last year, the Karnataka government had requested the apex court to enhance the cap on iron ore production in the districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur to 40 million tonnes per annum from the existing cap of 30 million tonnes per annum. The appeal was made after taking into account the requirement of the user industries such as steel and sponge iron makers.

The Supreme Court, in its order dated April 20, 2012 had stipulated a maximum of 25 million tonnes of iron ore can be extracted annually from Bellary and five million tonnes from Chitradurga and Tumkur.

Currently, 32 mines under ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories are operating in the state and producing around 28 million tonnes of iron ore per annum. The user industries are souring the balance ore from Chhattisgarh and other state to meet their requirements.

The next hearing is scheduled on July 27, 2017 in the Supreme Court. The CEC, during its meeting on Monday, will also discuss with the state department of mines and geology (DMG) on amalgamating and or adding of additional adjacent non-leased areas to the existing “C” category mines.

The meeting is expected to finalise the list of second set of ‘C’ category mines for auction.

The technical committee constituted by the DMG has recommended 9 ‘C’ category mining leases for amalgamation adjacent to existing ‘C’ category mines.

The meeting will also deliberate on several other issues pertaining to creation of mining infrastructure and impact of R&R works on the environment in respect of “A” and “B” category mines in the state.

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