As many as 51 mining leases under category C, including VSL Mining Company of Minister of State for Infrastructure Development Santosh Lad and Congress leader Anil Lad, and SB Minerals of the former Tourism Minister B.S. Anand Singh, will lose their licence by the end of June.
The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday directed the State government to complete the process of cancellation of licence of all mines under category C by June-end, to abide by the Supreme Court’s April 18 directive, and submit a detailed proposal on auctioning all such mines.
The CEC had, in its final report on February 3, 2012, classified mining leases into Category A, B, and C based on the extent of alleged illegalities. Following the report, the Supreme Court on April 18, 2013 cancelled 51 mining leases in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts.
A three-member CEC team, headed by P.V. Jayakrishna, which was in Bangalore for three days, discussed issues pertaining to mining in the State with officials of the Forest and Mining departments.
Besides government officials, the CEC team met representatives of Karnataka Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association (KSIMA) and Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI).
Speaking to The Hindu, Karnataka Sponge Iron Manufacturers Association president T. Srinivasa Rao said that the association had sought reduction in the price of ore being sold through e-auctions in the State.
However, the CEC clarified that it would “not intervene” in the internal issue of National Mineral Development Corporation. “The CEC said that bringing down prices is not part of its brief,” he added.
Sources in the government said that the CEC told the lease holders that the survey map fixed by the Joint Survey Team of CEC was final and that there was no scope for further dispute. They would not be allowed to conduct mining or dump ore in the overlapping areas between two leases. The CEC also assured that if there was any minor overlapping in Category C mines, such areas would be exempted.
Federation of Indian Mineral Industries vice-chairman Basant Poddar spoke.