Providing relief to mining company Sarda Mines Pvt Ltd., the Supreme Court on Thursday (January 30) allowed it to resume its mining operations in Odisha subject to deposit of ₹933 crore towards environmental compensation by February 29.
A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant also allowed the Naveen Jindal-led JSPL to transport high-quality iron ore lying in the Thakurani block mines is SMPL.
The top court, however, made it clear that JSPL can transport the iron-ore only after SMPL pays ₹933 crore towards compensation for the environment.
On January 16, the apex court had said it was “not averse” to allowing Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (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.
The top court had earlier taken on record an undertaking from Sarda Mines Pvt Ltd (SMPL) for payment of ₹933 crore towards environmental compensation to the state government.
SMPL was a supplier of a high-quality ore to the Naveen Jindal-led JSPL plant and was closed on March 31, 2014, for want of environment clearances.