New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed Sarda Mines Pvt. Ltd(SMPL) to resume its mining operations in Thakurani mines in Odisha’s Keonjhar district with a condition that the company would deposit Rs 933 crore toward environmental compensation by February 29.
A three-member bench headed by chief justice S A Bobde has also allowed Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. (JSPL) to lift the iron ore from the SMPL’s Thakurani mines. The bench which has justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant members, however, made it clear that JSPL can transport the iron-ore only after SMPL fulfill the condition of paying the compensation amount.
The supreme court, on January 16, had observed that it was “not averse” to allowing JSPL to transport the high-quality iron ore lying stacked at the non-functional Sarda Mines for its pellet plant in Odisha while reserving its verdict in the case.
Earlier, the top court had taken on record an undertaking from SMPL for payment of Rs 933 crore towards environmental compensation to the State government.
SMPL was a supplier of a high-quality ore from its Thakurani mines to the Naveen Jindal-led steel company which has a mega steel plant in Odisha’s Angul district. The SMPL had to suspend its mining operation on March 31, 2014, for want of environment clearances.