The Supreme Court has ordered the immediate suspension of mining operations by private companies in the scheduled forest areas of Andhra Pradesh. A large number of mining companies, including Hyderabad Abrasives Ltd, had challenged the order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court cancelling its license for mining in the tribal belts. The only exception granted is to the state mining corporation. Other companies have been directed to refrain from breaking fresh mines though they have been allowed to remove minerals already extracted and stocked in the forests within a period of four months.