Orissa HC Lets JSPL Lift Iron Ore from Supplier Sarda Mines
Court order only extends to the lifting of already mined iron lying within mines
Bhubaneswar: In a relief for Jindal Steel & Power, the Orissa High Court on Friday allowed the firm to lift iron ore from its longterm supplier Sarda Mines, whose mine is currently non-operational for want of clearances, and directed the state government to issue necessary orders for lifting and transport of iron ore from the mines. A JSPL spokesperson and a lawyer confirmed the order. “We have been informed that petition to transport our iron ore fines, which are lying at the dispatch point within Sarda Mines has been accepted by the Honourable Orissa High Court. This will enable us to transport our material to our pellet plant,” the company spokesperson told ET.
Senior officials of the state’s mining department said they are yet to decide on the next move. “We have yet to see the order, and will take a decision after seeking a legal view,” said a government official who requested not to be named. A market analyst tracking JSPL and its competitors said, “The order relates to 12.2 mt of iron ore fines, which at this mines is of a high 65 FE (ferrous) grade. This as per current Orissa Mining corporation prices could mean a benefit of .₹ 1,750 crore for JSPL over one to two years during which it’s consumed.”According to mining officials, another 0.9 mt of ROM may also available at the mine JSPL has been sourcing iron ore from Sarda Mines for its pellet plant which lies at the bottom of the hill that is Thakurani deposit where Sarda operates a 5 mt mine. Commissions, such as the Shah Commission for Illegal Mining of iron ore and Manganese and the Central Empowered Committee, had objections on the nature of relationship between the two and said that JSPL benefits from subsidised material from Sarda was costing the state exchequer. That matter, and environmental clearance for the mines, remains to be resolved by the Supreme Court and the environment ministry, respectively.
This order only extends to the lifting of the already mined iron lying within the mines, and will not facilitate fresh mining.
JSPL had moved court to be allowed to lift iron ore which it had already paid for.