Scrutiny of applications for Khandadhar mines by Nov: Orissa govt

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Kolkata, Nov 05 (UNI) The scrutiny of applications, including the one submitted by POSCO for its proposed steel plant in Orissa, for a prospecting licence for iron ore reserve under Khandadhar Hills in the state, will be over during the current month.

This was informed here today by Mr Pradip Kumar Amat, Minister of State, Department of Steel and Mines, Government of Orissa, while speaking at an interactive session organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Mr Amat said altogether 227 applications had been obtained for a prospecting licence for Khandadhar Hills, including Pothriposh Hills and Jhumka Hills, with an estimated iron-ore reserve of 204.5 million tonnes, sprawled over 1,056 ac1111114444res.

The company had stated that it needed iron-ore reserve of around 600 million tonnes for meeting its requirement with a prospective licence of 25 years, according to Mr Amat.

''The hearing for all the applications is over. The Orissa government is doing the scrutiny and will send its recommendations to the Centre by the end of November. The most deserving amongst them will get the licence, '' the minister added.

Orissa has signed 49 memoranda of understandings (MoUs) with steel companies with a collective proposed capacity of 75.66 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and four MTPA of steel pellets, with a total proposed investment of Rs 2,00,000 crore, he informed.

''Altogether 28 steel plants have become partly functional and started partial production. The output capacity achieved by these firms so far is 4.93 MTPA in sponge iron, 0.63 MTPA of pig iron, 3.8 MTPA of steel and 610.5 MW captive power plant,'' the minister elaborated.

So far, investment to a tune of Rs 21,182.45 crore has been made by the companies in this regard, he said.

''The state's production of iron ore and coal is poised to cross 100 MT each during the current fiscal. On the other hand, due to rapid industrialisation, there is mounting pressure on the mining industry to bridge the demand-supply gap of different minerals. To meet the challange, large mechanised open cast mines with state of the art technology are being planned, '' Mr Amat elaborated.

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