Kolkata: “Finalisation of the mining lease of the Khandadhar iron ore block for Posco India by the Orissa government and emergence of a clear picture about its raw material security will happen by November end,” an Orissa minister said.
“Currently, scrutiny of mining lease applications for the Khandadhar iron ore block is being done for which Posco is pitching for. We are expecting to send our recommendation to the Centre by end of November,” Orissa Steel and Mines Minister Pradip Kumar Amat said.
Interacting with the Indian Chamber of Commerce members, he said that 227 applications, including from Posco, were filed for the iron ore block which has an estimated reserve of 204 million tonnes spread over 1056 hectare.
Earlier, the Centre had recommended to the Orissa government to hear all the cases before deciding on allotting mines.
Posco had applied for other blocks to meet its total demand of 600 million tonnes of iron ore to produce 12 million tonnes of steel per annum. The decision for the other mining blocks would be taken later.
Amat said that the government would decide on offering Khandadhar and other mining licences based on criteria such as early movers, reputation of the group and amount of investment the company has made toward the project and value addition a project would make in the state.
“We desire that at least 25% of the total project cost be spent for priority in mining lease. But, this is not the sole criterion,” Amat said.
Posco has failed to get 4004 acre to build its 12 million tonnes integrated steel plant and a port since the MoU was signed in June 2005 with Orissa government because of protests by locals.
The initial production target is 2009. The company would require some 600 million tonnes of iron ore over a period of 25 years.