NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): India's apex court has lifted the ban on mining iron or in Goa but put the annual cap at 20 mn tons of ore excavation compared to 40 mn tons earlier. The court also imposed restriction on grant of lease for mining around one kilometre of national parks and wild life sanctuaries. The banning was banned in the region in September 2012 following irregularities detected by Justic M B Shah Commission. Passing the judgement, the Supreme Court also said the Ministry of Environment and Forests to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months. Before the ban in September 2012, the total production of iron ore from Goa mining stood around 40 million tonnes with a Supreme Court committee suggesting that the production be capped to 20 million tonnes. Earlier in March, the committee appointed by the Supreme Court had said that Goa can sustain extraction of iron ore to the tune of 27.5 million tonnes annually. However, they suggested 20 million tonnes as the permissible limit. Sesa Sterlite will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ruling considering that the ban had led to the suspension of the services of 1,017 empployees of the company at its iron ore unit in Goa. The company had also decided to move the court following the ban as it had severely affected their earnings.