SC rejects Vedanta’s plea seeking iron ore export permit in K’taka

New Delhi [India], Sept.1 : The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Vedanta Ltd's plea seeking export of iron ore in Karnataka.

The apex court ruled that it "doesn't find any reason to allow export iron ore for now." The apex court, which heard the plea filed by the Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturers' Association, seeking intervention to stop state-owned National Mineral Development Corp.

(NMDC) from charging different prices of iron ore in the state than what it charges in the rest of the country, held that the NMDC can fix different prices of iron ore in the state than what it charges in the rest of the country.

The Supreme Court had banned mining of iron ore in Karnataka in July 2011 following allegations of illegalities, resulting in large-scale environmental damage.

While the apex court allowed resumption of mining in April 2013, it enforced an annual cap of 30 million tonnes besides the exports were also banned.

According to Vedanta, there was an oversupply of iron ore in Karnataka. Apart from 30-mt production, there was an additional supply of six million tonnes from mines with extended lease period and stocks.

In its 2013 order, the apex court had directed that iron ore be sold only through e-auction conducted by the court-appointed monitoring committee.

The situation was such that in the first quarter of 2016-17, more than 34 percent of iron ore (3.42 mt) put up for auction remained unsold.

In the past few months, Vedanta has been unable to auction its iron ore though the base sale price fixed by the company was around the average price realised by the monitoring committee during an earlier stock sale.

Vedanta urged the state government and the monitoring committee for permission to export the iron ore.

Source: ANI