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Supreme Court allows mining firm to transport mined iron ore in Goa if govt gets royalty

The top court directed the mining firm Chowgule and Company Private Limited to transport the iron ore within a period of six months.

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday allowed mining firms to transport validly mined iron ore from mines in Goa if they have paid royalty to government authorities.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde delivered the judgment on a plea by mining firm Chowgule and Company Private Limited.

In a major relief to mining firms, the apex court modified its earlier order and permitted transportation of already mined iron ore lying unused at various sites in the state.

The apex court had earlier banned mining and transportation of iron ore in Goa.

The bench directed the mining firm to transport the iron ore within a period of six months from today provided it has paid royalty to authorities and has valid license with regard to it.

The mining company was aggrieved by an order of the Bombay High Court and has been seeking the nod of the apex court to commercially use and transport the mined iron ore in Goa.

In the January 16 hearing, the mining firm’s plea was vehemently opposed by the NGO ‘Goa Foundation’.

The top court in February 2018 had quashed the second renewal of iron ore mining leases given to as many as 88 companies in Goa in 2015 and directed the Centre and the Goa government to grant fresh environmental clearances to them.

The court had, however, said that mining lease holders, who have been granted a second renewal in violation of its previous decision and directions, are granted time to manage their affairs and may continue mining operations till March 15, 2018.

“However, they are directed to stop all mining operations with effect from March 16, 2018 until fresh mining leases (not fresh renewals or other renewals) are granted and fresh environmental clearances are granted,” the bench had said.

The judgement had then come on a petition filed by the NGO, which had also raised the issue of companies carrying out mining in violation of various statutes.

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