SAIL, NMDC sign pact to develop Arki Limestone Mine in Himachal

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New Delhi, Nov. 16 (ANI): Mining major NMDC and Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a limestone project at Arki in Himachal Pradesh.

The proposed Rs. 260 crore joint venture will have 50:50 equity participation of the two companies.

NMDC Chairman Rana Som said NMDC has got a lease to mine 90 million tonnes of low silica limestone and eight million tonnes of dolomite. He said the mines would last for about 50 years. He said, the joint venture will start production within three years.

SAIL Chairman S.K. Roongta said SAIL needs 1.6 million tonnes of low silica limestone for its own units which it obtains from Jaisalmer and through imports.

He said post expansion, SAIL will need three million tonnes and Arki mines will provide one million tonnes. Therefore, he said, the project is good for both the companies.

Minister for Steel Virbhadra Singh emphasized the need for preserving the ecology and the natural beauty of the area.

He said Himchal Pradesh has vast deposits of limestones but the state did not want to disturb the ecology.

Singh said for Himachal Pradesh, tourism will remain the first priority. He urged NMDC to respect the sentiment of people and preserve the natural beauty as mining invariably leaves sear. (ANI)

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