In Bellary district of Karnataka, mining activities have resumed gradually after lifting off the blanket ban imposed by the Supreme Court in July 2011. As many as 13 mines (11 in forest land and two in revenue lands) listed in categories A and B have started extraction of ore after implementing reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) plans and obtaining all the statutory clearances.
As per the R&R plans, the cap on production of ore in these mines was fixed at 5.28 million tonne per annum. The extraction of manganese was fixed at 0.18 million tonne. This is in addition to the production of 12 million tonne already permitted to the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a Union government undertaking, having mining leases in Donimalai in Sandur taluk of the district.
Following is the list of companies permitted to resume mining in forest areas: Sandur Manganese and Iron Ore (SMIORE) – two leases; Zeenat Transport Company; B. Kumargouda Mines; Tiffin Barytes; VESCO; B.B. Shetty; MSPL Vyasanakere; Hanumanth Rao; Nadeem Minerals; and Mysore Minerals, Thimmappanagudi.
Of the total 110 mining leases in the district, R&R plans for 59 were prepared. Plans have yet to be prepared for 51 others, some of which are listed in category C. With the ore being sold through e-auction, revenue to the State exchequer has increased considerably. Around 30 percent of the sale value is being deducted as Forest Development Tax (FDT), Royalty, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Income Tax, Manikantan, Deputy Conservator of Forest said.
Now everything has been clearly defined, leading to an increase in the tax revenue, he added.