Karnataka has total 2,268.818 million tonne of iron ore resources, the state government has told the Supreme Court. However, it said that the data were not sufficient for getting the reserve position of a particular mine.
Citing the Indian Bureau of Mines report, the Karnataka government said the state has 380 million tonne of reserve and 1,888 million tonne of resource as on April 1, 2013 and this reserve position of iron ore is known to the authorities.
The affidavit has come in the wake of the SC coming down heavily on the Karnataka government for failing to assess its mineral reserves and asking it to give details of the iron ore reserves before auctioning 15 category C mines in its three districts —Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur.
While asking the Karnataka government to submit details of the mineral reserves in these 15 mines before April 10, a bench headed by Justices Ranjan Gogoi had last month observed that the state had made no progress in assessing these reserves even after the cancellation of the mining leases in April 2013. It has directed the state to inform the court on or before April 10 the mineral reserve position in the mining leases, apart from six mines where auction process has been finalised.
“We make it clear that… Karnataka shall make all endeavours to put before it mineral reserves in the remaining nine leases,” the bench had ordered, after directing the SC registry to list before it all applications related to determination of auction process for 51 category C mines and 44 review petitions challenging several aspects of its April 18, 2013 order, by which Category A and B mines were allowed to resume mining with a cap of 30 mtpa.
Seeking approval for putting six mines up for e-auction, the affidavit filed through counsel Anitha Shenoy said that the state government is following the direction of the apex court in letter and spirit.