New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled all leases for iron ore extraction in 49 category C mines in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka.

The Apex Court forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam said the proceeds from the sale of iron ore extracted from category C mines would stand forfeited and would go to special purpose vehicle constituted for the reclamation and rehabilitation of the mining area devastated by illegal mining.

The court confirmed its earlier order permitting mining activities in 18 category A mines. The court, however, put an embargo on the mining activities in seven mining leases falling in Karnatata-Andhra Pradesh border areas.

The court said the mining activities, in seven mining leases would remain suspended till the demarcation of boundaries between the two states is cleared. The court vacated its earlier order restraining issuance of fresh mining leases.

The order pronounced by Justice Ranjan Gogoi accepted a number of recommendations of the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on green matters given in its various reports from 2011 to February 2013. The CEC divided mines in the area in three categories, A, B and C depending on the extent of mining in the districts.

(Agencies)

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