The Supreme Court (SC) on 21 April 2014 lifted a 19 month old ban on mining in Goa. The ban was imposed in September 2012 as part of a drive to curb illegal mining in Goa.
The ban was lifted on the recommendation of a panel appointed by the Supreme Court under Justice M.B.Shah to look into the mining industry.
A special forest bench headed by Justice AK Patnaik suggested capping production at 20 million tonnes to protect against illegal activity. The final capacity that will be allowed to be mined in the state will be decided by an expert panel within the next six months.
The panel would also advise how the extracted dumps are to be utilised. Further, no mining lease would be granted around one kilometre of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The SC forest bench further said that there cannot be deemed renewal of lease after 2007.
Goa is one of the top iron ore-exporting State. The ban has sliced India's iron ore exports by 85 percent, or 100 million tonnes, over the past two years. India was once the third-largest exporter of iron ore, but has now slipped to No. 10.
The additional supply from Goa, which exports nearly all of its output, would add to an expected surplus of iron ore as big mining companies such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton boost production.
The ban had paralysed Sesa Sterlite, India’s largest iron ore exporter.It will be the biggest beneficiary of the judgement of Supreme Court.
When: 21 April 2014