The Supreme Court on Wednesday quashed the Goa government’s order to renew the licenses of mining companies in the state, ANI reported. The companies can carry out mining activities only till March 16, the top court added.

Fresh leases will be issued only after the companies obtain environment clearances, The Indian Express reported. The government has to start a fresh auction process, the court said.

The Supreme Court acted on a petition that lawyer Prashant Bhushan had filed against the state government’s order in 2015 to renew 88 mining leases, News 18 reported. Bhushan had alleged that a number of the lease-holders were illegally mining iron ore.

The court had suspended all iron ore mining and transportation in the state in October 2012, acting on the Justice MB Shah Commission report that found millions of tonnes of iron ore being mined illegally.