Nagpur: Five companies, including steel giant JSW Steel Limited, have bagged iron ore blocks in the Surjagarh area of Maoist-affected Gadchirol district. After the auctions, the companies have been designated as preferred bidders for a composite licence.
Apart from iron ore, Ambuja Cements has emerged as a successful bidder for limestone mining in Devalmara Katepalli pocket which is also in Gadchiroli.
The development is credited as the beginning of Gadchiroli’s emergence as a hub for iron ore mining. At present, Lloyds Metals and Energy Limited (LMEL) is the only mining company in the district. The LMEL that entered Gadchiroli 28 years ago was only able to start mining at full scale more than a year earlier. This year it also received environmental permits to mine up to 10 million tons per year instead of the previous permission of 3 million tons.
New companies that would now enter the scene after the auctions are Sunflag Iron and Steel Limited, JSW Group, Universal Industrial Equipment and Technical Services Private Limited, Om Sairam Steels and Alloys and Natural Resources Energy Private Limited.
Of these, Sunflag and Universal are from Nagpur. JSWs is the largest player headquartered in Mumbai. Om Sairam is based in Jalna and Natural Resources is a company from Raipur, in Chhattisgarh.
The premium that the companies offer to the state government ranges from 118% to 139% of the average selling price (ASP). With a compound license, the companies now have permits to prospect and ultimately extract iron ore from the block. Ambuja, on the other hand, has a direct mining license for its limestone block. Shree cement emerged as a preferred bidder for a limestone block in Chandrapur.
Ambuja offered a 7.55% premium for the block. Shree Cement, on the other hand, took hold of the Kondhala block in Chandrapur at a bid of 27% premium.
“With the start-up of other companies, Gadchiroili can become a hub for iron ore mining, which can greatly contribute to the steel industry. Our company, LMEL, has had to wait 28 years since it got a letter of intent to finally start mining in Surjagarh,” said Rajesh Guptadirector of LMEL.
Gupta added that there is a plan to have an integrated steel complex in the district. In the first phase, a 70,000 million tonne DRI plant will be set up at Kondseri in Gadchiroli. This would be the district’s first industrial establishment. The second phase involves setting up a pellet-making plant, with a capacity of 4 million tons, and a slurry pipeline to transport iron ore from the mines to Kondseri.
“This would be the first plant of its kind in the western region. A technology feasibility study is underway to have a 3 million ton HR coil plant in the third phase,” he said. Gupta says the company plans to make Gadchiroli the Jamshedpur of Vidarbha.
Adblock test (Why?)