Mesco Steel today requested the Odisha government to allow the company to sell the extracted iron ore estimated at Rs 300 crore at its Roida mine in the state.
Besides, the company has also sought permission to resume mining operations at its mine.
In a statement, Mesco Steel said it is among seven companies whose mining operations were suspended on December 31, 2017 due to non-payment of the compensation ordered by the Supreme Court.
“After the closure of its Roida iron ore mine on December 31, Mesco steel is exploring ways to pay the fine to the Odisha government as soon as possible,” its CMD Rita Singh said in a statement.
The production at its mine was closed on December 31, which was the last date given by the Supreme Court to pay the fine by the mining companies in Odisha which were operating without environmental clearance.
On August 2, 2017, the apex court had said that mining companies in Odisha operating without environmental clearance will have to pay a 100 per cent penalty to the state on the price of illegally extracted iron and manganese ores with retrospective effect from 2000-01.
The amount should be deposited by the companies on or before December 31, 2017, it had said.
Singh said the company has also requested the state government to allow it to sell the already extracted iron ore which is lying at the mine since the company could not transport or sell the mineral.
She said the company has to pay Rs 924 crore penalty to the state and the estimated value of the extracted iron ore lying unattended is around Rs 300 crore.
The company further requested the government to allow it to run the mine within the state’s supervision so that it can pay the full compensation amount in coming months.
“We are open to government appointing financial observers who can be stationed at our mines and oversee the extraction, sale and repayment of the outstanding compensation to the state government after payment of labourer’s wages.
“We invested in Odisha and acquired a stressed government-steel plant Maithan Ispat because the state had abundant iron ore. By shutting down the mine, the government will not only jeopardise our investment but it will adversely impact the investment sentiment towards the state,” the CMD said.