Kolkata, Nov 18 (UNI) The National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), a Navratna central public sector company under the Steel Ministry, today joined hands with West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation Limited (WBMDTC) to explore and mine the two billion ton Deocha-Pachami coal block in Birbhum district.
An MoU was signed in this regard here in presence of Steel and Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and State Industries Minister Nirupam Sen among others.
The MoU paved way for the geological exploration of the deposit to establish the technical and commercial viability of the project. A joint venture company between NMDC and WBMDTC will be incorporated later to carry the project forward.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Paswan said NMDC was on a fast track expansion and diversification mode with plans to acquire more mining leases in iron ore, coal, diamond etc and setting up pelletisation plants in Bailadila and Donimalai and also an integrated steel plant in Chhattisgarh.
Mr Paswan informed that currently the production of iron ore was about 30 million ton a year which was being stepped up to 50 million ton by 2015.
He also said efforts were on to reduce exports of iron ore to a number of countries.
Referring to the steps to be taken for improving the Steel industry, Mr Paswan said his Ministry was considering to impose ten per cent import duty on steel.
UNI ADG SJC RN1706