Bloomberg News

India’s Top Court Accepts Panel View to Restart Iron Ore Mines

April 13, 2012

India’s top court today accepted a report from a panel recommending it lift a ban on some iron ore mines in Karnataka, more than eight months after they were shut for environmental breaches. JSW Steel Ltd. (JSTL) shares gained.

The Supreme Court today asked the panel it had appointed to suggest measures to restart the mines in the southern state, according to an order by a three-judge panel headed by S.H. Kapadia. Mining may take two months to restart after a verdict is passed next week following the panel’s recommendations, the court said.

Mining in the Bellary region was banned in July and the Supreme Court extended the ban to two other iron ore-rich regions in the state in August as it probed violations of environmental norms. The court allowed state-run NMDC Ltd. (NMDC) to mine 1 million tons of iron ore a month and ordered all sales to be conducted through online auctions.

Restarting the iron ore mines will allow JSW, the nation’s third-largest steelmaker, easier access to raw material to feed its largest factory, based in the state. JSW cut production because of poor quality iron ore and was operating the 10 million-metric-ton a year plant at less than 70 percent of capacity, three people familiar with the development said on March 30.

JSW shares rose 4.6 percent, the most in three weeks, to 739.85 rupees at the close in Mumbai. The benchmark Sensitive Index fell 1.4 percent.

To contact the reporters on this story: Pratap Patnaik in New Delhi at ppatnaik2@bloomberg.net; Abhishek Shanker in Mumbai at ashanker1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net


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