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The court lifted the ban on Monday April 21, with immediate effect.

Goa is India’s largest iron ore exporting state. Its miners were banned from producing and transporting iron in October 2012, after a government-backed inquiry into illegal iron ore mining in the state.

Goa’s ban on iron ore mining followed a ruling in the state of Karnataka preventing miners from producing iron ore there.

Annual iron ore production has been capped at 20 million tonnes in Goa.

India’s mining bans significantly changed the face of the seaborne iron ore market, drying up exports from one of the biggest exporters of the steelmaking raw material to China.

India was the third largest exporter of iron ore to China, after Australia and Brazil, until the mining bans came into force.

Goa exported its first iron ore in 18 months earlier in April, when Indian diversified trading firm Bagadiya Brothers shipped 71,300 tonnes of iron ore – bought in an e-auction – from the port of Mormugao, bound for China.