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Dantewada, Centre opens up another hill for iron ore mining #WTFnews

  The Indian Express
 
Richest in the country, the site has one-third of NMDC’s total iron reserves.

Richest in the country, the site has one-third of NMDC’s total iron reserves.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur | Posted: October 25, 2014 1:10 am

The Union government has given forest clearance, which was pending for years, to India’s biggest public sector iron ore site in Bailadila hills of southern Chhattisgarh.

Situated in the Maoist-dominated forests of Dantewada district, the site, named Tenement Number 13, contains proven iron ore reserves of 319.6 MT.

Spread across just 317 hectares, the rich tenement holds nearly one-third of the total 995 MT proved iron ore reserves with public sector iron ore miner NMDC across the country. It has a production target of 10 MTPA (million tonnes per annum), nearly half of the present NMDC’s output of 25 MTPA.

The clearance came after Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh pursued the case with the Centre after the NDA came to power. Singh attributed the clearance to “speedier processes” of the Centre.

“The project will not only provide employment to nearly 2,000 people but will also be a source of raw material to sponge iron industries of Chhattisgarh leading to further employment and development. The Government of India with its speedier processes has been taking all necessary steps for development of Chhattisgarh,” Singh told The Indian Express.

While the forested hills of Bailadila have 14 proven iron ore sites, all containing world-class ore, NMDC has mining lease for only six -Number 5, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 14 NMZ.

Operations are yet to begin in Number 5 and 13 due to the Maoist threat. The rebels oppose mining activity in the region and have often been able to strike even inside the NMDC complex.

NMDC has been mining on two of the several hills of Bailadila for nearly 50 years and work will now begin on the third hill.

The mining will be undertaken by a joint venture company between NMDC and Chhattisgarh Mining Development Corporation.

“There is a scarcity of iron ore for plants in the state. Fresh areas were needed. It is a welcome step Though the present site is smaller in area, it has very good reserves, among the highest density in the country,” Anurag Diwan, joint director Mineral Administration, Chhattisgarh, said.

The present clearance marks the Stage One forest clearance.

Officials noted that the first stage is often difficult and the second and final clearance should be easily granted within a year. “Mining should begin in two-three years,” said an official. For decades, locals have been demanding that the minerals of Bastar should be mined by the people of the state.

Officials noted that the first stage is often difficult and the second and final clearance should be easily granted within a year. “Mining should begin in two-three years,” said an official. For decades, locals have been demanding that the minerals of Bastar should be mined by the people of the state.

– See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/in-dantewada-centre-opens-up-another-hill-for-iron-ore-mining/#sthash.WlbR8AcT.qCTGZB4p.dpuf

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