Partially lifting ban on mining activities in Bellary district of Karnataka, the SC on Friday allowed public sector National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) to extract one million tonne iron ore every month from its two mines to meet the requirements of domestic steel industry.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia, which had on July 29 ordered suspension of mining and transportation of iron ore from Bellary for environmental degradation, however, did not agree to lift the ban against mining by private companies.
"Profit is not important but the balancing of the right of clean environment is," it said.
The court said the ban on export of iron ore extracted from Bellary mines would continue.
The court ordered Karnataka government to charge royalty on iron ore at 10% of the current market value as against 10% of a notional value fixed many years ago. The money would be used for rehabilitation of the adversely affected areas in Bellary.
The court also sought to know how much money the mining companies were spending as part of their corporate social responsibility programme.