By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, December 29, 2017: Mining companies have till Friday deposited Rs 7962 crore as compensation for illegally extracted iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11 as ordered by the Supreme Court.

The mining companies have to clear the compensation amount by the end of the year failing which they will lose operating leases.

Most of the leading miners with huge penalty burdens have paid their share of compensation. Tata Steel, Essel Mining, Rungta, state-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL), Indrani Patnaik, Kaypee Enterprises, Aryan Mining & Trading Corporation and Tarini Minerals and K N Ram have made payments, official sources said.

With the Supreme Court deadline of December 31 inching closer, miners are making payments hurriedly to save their operating leases.The Supreme Court recently ruled out any extension in deadline as well as payment in instalments. This has literally forced the miners to make frenzied efforts to shell out the penalties.

Incidentally, the OMC faced the biggest penalty burden at Rs 2,177.97 crore followed by Sarda Mines (Rs 1,983.86 crore), Essel Mining (Rs 1,102 crore), Mesco Steel (Rs 924.75 crore), Orissa Minerals Development Corporation (Rs 642 crore) and Tata Steel (Rs 614 crore).

Officials expect this figure to go up beyond Rs 10000 crore by Saturday. “The exact amount paid by the lessees can be known on Monday,” steel and mines minister, Prafulla Mallick said adding that the government was hopeful of collecting the whole amount.

The state government had slapped penalties worth Rs 17,576 crore on the mining companies as compensation for extracting excess iron and manganese ore beyond the limits approved under environment clearance (EC).