Raipur: “Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the country’s biggest domestic steel maker, hopes to get iron ore mining licence in a key state that will help boost output,” company officials said.
“The state-run company’s plant in Bhilai in the central state of Chhattisgarh received this month the final clearance from the environment ministry to develop a mine in Rowghat,” a senior company official said.
The SAIL spokesman confirmed the development.
“This has paved the way for applying for a mining lease,” the spokesman said adding: “Over the next four years, we will develop the mine.”
“The mine has estimated reserves of 511 million tonnes of iron ore and should help the Bhilai plant meet its target in the coming year,” the official said, who could not be named because of company policy.
The plant is raising its capacity to 7.5 million tonnes by 2010-11 from 5.3 million tonnes now.
SAIL produced a total of 13.4 million tonnes of crude steel in 2008-09, down from 14 million tonnes in the previous year. Chairman S.K. Roongta has said that the company planned to expand capacity in the near future to feed expected rise in demand.