Miners expect export ban to go by March



After Supreme Court verdict of allowing export of iron ore that are lying in the major ports of Karnataka, miners see a possible lifting on iron ore export ban by end of March, 2011.Supreme Court on Friday allowed Karnataka mining companies to export iron ore lying at major ports in the state. As the state government ban of six months has expired, the court allowed the pleas of mining companies to export the ore.

“SC verdict is a interim relief as those miners having stocks at ports will now be allowed to export. However, it’s a greater indication that there is a possibility of lifting the iron ore ban by end of March and this is just a matter of timing,” Rahul Baldota, executive director of Karnataka based MSPL Ltd said.

He, also, said that Karnataka government was expected to come up with set of rules governing transport and export of ore in the state. Karnataka government has imposed ban on iron ore export last year amid report of widespread violation of mining laws by the companies. 

However, it has been challenged by the miners in the High Court which has upheld the state government ban. Subsequently, the case is now contested in the Supreme Court and the apex court has directed the state government to come up with new rules to check illegal mining.

“Karnataka has circulated the draft notification for checking illegal mining in the recent time and miners are fine with the new rules,” Baldota said.

Referring to this matter, R K Sharma, secretary general of Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) said, “State government should give better governance in order to check any illegal mining in the state than blanket ban which hurt the industry as a whole.” SC verdict is a welcome step forward towards lifting of iron ore export ban, he added.

Another industry source, who wished not to be named, said that the it seems that the state government is buying time in this case before lifting the ban on export. “You can’t penalise the industry for wrongdoings of some people in the industry,” he added.



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