Supreme Court clears limestone mining by Lafarge in Meghalaya

New Delhi: India's Supreme Court on Tuesday cleared the limestone mining operations of French cement giant Lafarge in the country's mineral-rich northeast, after satisfying itself that the project had received due consideration from the ministry of environment and forests.

"We are satisfied with the MOEF (ministry of environment and forest) as it has taken a due diligence exercise," the Supreme Court said on Tuesday.

The environment ministry informed the court in April it had cleared the mining project with strict conditions.

Lafarge's $255 million cement plant in neighbouring Bangladesh is wholly dependent on limestone mined by the French company in the East Khasi Hills in India's state of Meghalaya.

The company's mining operations had been halted in February 2010 after the court ruled that mining could not be allowed in the environmentally sensitive zone.

Lafarge extracts limestone for the Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd plant at Chhatak in Bangladesh. Limestone is transported from Meghalaya to Bangladesh by a 17-kilometre (10-mile) conveyor belt.