Mumbai: The Supreme Court on Friday has allowed restarting of mining in category A iron ore mines, or those of more than 50 hectares, in southern Karnataka state after their environmental plans are approved.

So far, only state-run NMDC is allowed to mine up to 1 million tonne per month. Last week, the top court had asked companies in Karnataka state to push ahead with land clean-up.

In 2011, the Supreme Court banned iron ore mining in three districts of Karnataka citing environmental concerns, and asked a government body to carry out an environmental impact assessment.