Bellary district in Karnataka is the largest source of iron ore in the state. Bellary has the largest reserves in Karnataka, and accounted for over 60% of the iron ore extracted in the state in 2011. With close to 124 operating mines as of 2011, it accounts for close to 60% of the iron ore extracted in the state. Of the 266 mines in the state, Bellary accounted for 98 mines over an area of 9,527 ha . Although mining operation in the region have been going on since the late 1990s, the sharp increase in iron ore prices since 2000 led to a sharp increase in extractivism in the region which was commonly perceived to be illegal in nature. In 2007, the State Lokayukta appointed a committee to look into the allegations of illegal mining. The resultant justice Santosh Hedge Report on illegal mining in Karnataka submitted in 2008, reveals the extent of illegality, corruption, and plunder of the mineral wealth of the region by a few powerful actors. Over the four years between 2006 and 2010, the Reddy brothers—the largest iron ore mining barons in the region, and powerful local politicians, acquired close to Rs. 16, 085 crores in illegal wealth. Additionally, the extensive report on illegal mining revealed close to 700 mining officials, and 400 companies involved in illegal activities . In 2012, a blanket ban on mining operations as imposed by the Supreme Court of India. Operations of some mines belonging to companies that did were legally operating has resumed.