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Fox, JSA win SC clearance for Posco steel v Amarchand

J Sagar Associates (JSA) and Fox Mandal advised South Korean steel major Posco in the Supreme Court (SC), challenging the Orissa High Court’s decision to set aside the state government recommending a preferential grant to mine iron ore.

JSA Delhi dispute resolution partners Amar Gupta, Dheeraj Nair and Ananya Kumar with senior associate Divyam Agarwal and Fox Mandal Noida senior associate Swati Sinha acted for Posco in the SC.

They instructed senior advocates KK Venugopal and CA Sundaram.

The Odisha government and Geomin Minerals & Marketing had challenged the July 14, 2010 order of the High Court which quashed the notification issuing Posco an iron ore mining licence over 2,500 hectares in the Khandadhar hills in the Sundergarh district, according to the Economic Times.

The licence would aid Posco’s proposed Rs 51,000 crore ($12bn) steel plant near Paradeep, according to the paper. The project is billed as India’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI), according to JSA’s press release.

Amarchand Mangaldas acted for the Bhubaneshwar-based mineral and mining company Geomin Minerals & Marketing, and advocate Shibashish Misra acted for the government of Orissa.

Geomin had submitted before the Orissa HC that it had applied for a mining licence in the same area as Posco, much before Posco, and was not granted the same, according to Telegraph India. It opposed the SC's suggestion to ask the state government to make an assessment of all potential contenders of the licence, because under the Mines and Minerals Development Act only the union government has this power.

Khaitan & Co partner Sanjeev Kapoor acted for Steel major Jindal Steel and Power which had filed an impleadement application before the SC, since its reliefs coincided with that of Geomin.

The world’s fourth largest steel producer has waited eight years to get necessary clearances and licences for its 12 million tonne steel production plant and has already raised investment in emerging countries like Indonesia to make up for its slow progress in India, according to Reuters.

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