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OMDC mining operations may not resume soon

Orissa Minerals Development Company, which was forced to halt one of its biggest mine barely 20 days after restarting it in December, may not see the operations resume soon.

The Orissa government, which ordered the state owned miner to halt the mine, is insisting that the company value add the ore instead of selling it directly to buyers.

On January 20, the Orissa government directed OMDC to immediately stop lifting ore from its restarted Kolha Roida mine, which led to a fall in the company’s share price as the move threw all projections about its sales and profitability to the winds.

However, the company had then maintained that the halt was a temporary thing and that it would get an approval from the state government soon. But that seems to be a far cry now.

A senior company official said that “The approvals will take some time as the state government wants us to value add the ore we mine instead of selling it directly.”

He said the issue needs to be taken up by the Union Ministry of Steel with the state government and OMDC has no role to play in the entire process.

The official said that the state government is arguing that why it should give an approval to the company which had been sitting on rich iron ore mines for almost two decades without doing anything substantial with it.

A recent notice on the company website said that “In view of representation from different prospective buyers, it is felt that the long term sale policy of OMDC needs to be modified. Thus the present long term sale policy is hereby withdrawn. The modified policy will be displayed on company website in due course.”

Asked about the notice, a company official said the document has actually been withdrawn as operations are currently halted.

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