Supreme Court cancels Karnataka’s all 49 mining leases
All 49 leases for iron ore extraction in category “C” mines in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka have been cancelled by the Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court has permitted resumption of activity in mines with lesser illegalities as recommendations made by Central Empowered Committee (CEC) since July 2011 on the mining issues in Karnataka. The CEC had categorized the mines in the area in three categories – “A”, “B” and “C”.
- Category “A”: Mines in these areas have least or no irregularities.
- Category “C”: Mines in these areas have maximum irregularities.
The Supreme Court, whilst admitting most of the recommendations made by CEC, held that unlawful iron ore mining on the Andhra-Karnataka border would continue suspended till the separation of boundary between the two states is finished. The unlawfulnesses referred to included unlawful mining activities, allotment of enormous quantities of iron ore at throw-away prices to private companies and an boost in rates at which iron ore was rendered to some other companies.