The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Orissa High Court order that quashed the state government’s recommendation to the Centre to allot an iron ore mining licence to South Korean steel major Posco in Khandadhar hills in Sundergarh district for a multi-crore rupee steel plant.
A bench headed by Justice RM Lodha, however, held the Centre to would take a final decision on the issue of allotting the mine after considering objections raised by other mining companies including ones that approached the HC and the apex court.
With this, the high court’s verdict quashing the notification to allot iron ore mines in over 2,500 hectares in Kandadhar hills in Sundergarh district in Orissa is also set aside.
The court’s decision came on cross appeals filed by the state government and mining companies challenging the HC verdict quashing the notification.
The Orissa government had moved the SC on October 29, 2010 contending that the HC could not quash its grant of licence to Posco as it came under section 11 (5) of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.
The state government had in January 2009 recommended Posco’s application to the Centre for granting a prospecting licence for Kandadhar iron ore reserves.
On Geomin Minerals & Marketing Ltd’s petition the HC had on July 14, 2010 set aside the state government decision.
Later Geomin and 16 other firms too approached SC, pleading that the high court had gone beyond the plea made in Geomin’s initial petition.