Ranchi, 25 September The Jharkhand government was ready to allot alternative iron mines to the Arcelor-Mittal as Ghatkuri and Chiria mines were caught in legal wrangles, Chief Minister Madhu Koda said today.
The Mittals had sought ten free blocks of iron ore in Ghatkuri mines during the previous Arjun Munda government, Koda told reporters at the airport.
He was replying to a query whether the Mittals had applied afresh for iron ore in Ghatkuri mines situated in West Singhbhum which reportedly had a reserve of over 600 million tonnes of iron-ore having a grade of 62%.
Chiria mine, having one of the best quality iron ores in the country, was the first priority of the Mittals. But a litigation is currently on between the SAIL and the Jharkhand government over the mine.
Despite the legal entanglement plaguing the availability of Chiria mines, the chief minister said he was sincerely expecting an early start of the Arcelor-Mittal’s 12 mt greenfield integrated steel project worth Rs 40,000 crore through alternative iron ore sites.
Soon after Koda became the chief minister last year he had offered Ankua mines to the Mittals, but the steel giant reportedly rejected the offer.
Meanwhile, according to media reports, the Mittal Steel was waiting for the government’s announcement for a Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RR) policy to make an announcement on site selection and project details.
Koda had said last week the RR policy should not be an impediment to any investor’s scheme of things as the policy was mainly related to land acquisition. Any investor could directly approach a land owner for purchasing land.