The Supreme Court on Friday relaxed more than a decade old restriction on the sale of iron ore from Karnataka, saying e-auction received low response.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana also granted permission to export iron ore extracted in three districts of Ballari, Chitradurga, and Tumakuru in Karnataka.
The bench, also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, said: "We grant appellants permission to sell already excavated iron ore stock etc. in three Karnataka districts and permission granted to allocate iron ore by entering into direct contracts without resorting to e-auction."
The bench also granted permission to the applicant to export iron ore produced in Karnataka to countries abroad but in terms of central government policies.
The top court order came on pleas of mining firms urging it to lift curbs on sale and export of iron ore, which was imposed earlier in view of rampant violations.
A decade ago, iron ore exports from Karnataka were banned by the apex court with an aim to prevent environmental degradation.