The state government of Odisha has asked Sarada Mines (SMPL) to halt iron ore production at Thakurani mines as it was
found to have surpassed the mining limit for approved environmental clearance (EC).
The mine was already involved in a legal war with the government for violating certain provisions of MMDR Act 1957 in mining operation.
The joint director of mines, Joda circle in Keonjhar district in Odisha, wrote to SMPL that the company had gone beyond the pro-rata limit of production of iron ore (1,462,365,462mt) in April with 1.503 mn mt and in May with 772,054mt. An IT-based integrated mines and minerals management system, i3MS, verified that the company has accomplished 2.275 mn mt in the two months.
The director served a demand notice worth 2,0560mn to SMPL for proceeding with mining operations in the absence of EC and mineral production surpassing the EC capacity.
SMPL’s Thakurani block supplied iron ore to Jindal Steel and Power Ltd.
SMPL had filed a complaint with the Delhi High Court in September 2020, after the Central government requested the State government to halt mining operations and take legal action against the leaseholder for violating the Environment Protection Act, 1986. However, the Delhi High Court had granted SMPL relief.