Bhubaneswar: Miners today sought immediate attention of both state and central government on issues related to smooth transition of Forest Clearance (FC) and Environmental Clearance (EC) post mineral block auction process.
On the concluding day of India Mining Conclave 2019 organised by Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) today, Convenor of steel and mines committee of ICC Odisha State Council Manish Kharbanda, in a press meet, summarised the key deliberations in the conclave along with ICC State council chairperson M C Thomas.
The participants have urged state government to give proposal for embedment of FC and EC in mineral block auction process to central government for seamless continuation of mining operation.
In Odisha, several commercial mines in operations whose lease period will expire on March 31, 2020 have the production capacity of about 60 million tonne iron ore. If smooth transition of production will not happen then these mines will come to a grinding halt that would put raw material pressure on industries working here.
ICC in the press meet stated that it would suggest the Odisha government that same rule should be followed for non-coal blocks like auction of coal blocks where net worth of a company has been taken into consideration. If government allow same company to participate multiple times in the auction process and that company able to get few mines but due to less net worth that particular company cannot develop those mines in a stipulated time frame. There are chances that low net worth company can go bankrupt.
Talking about mineral exploration, it was mentioned that only 10% available minerals in India has been explored. These are huge scope for exploration ramp up. Beneficiation is another area where mining industry can give more focus.
ICC also informed that India produces 150 million tonne of low grade minerals and out of that 80 million tonne is produced only in Odisha. If we are able to add values to these minerals, then iron ore shortage will get over in few years. It specifically called for the beneficiation of hematite and magnetite grade pres.
On transportation of mineral issue, ICC viewed that logistics cost in Odisha is very high in range of 25%.-30%. The body urged the government to reduce the transport tariff for steel and steel related product by discussion with various stakeholders to improve this which directly help in making domestic industries cost competitive.