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Unavailability of land and water hold up iron ore pellet projects in India

Issues pertaining to availability of suitable land and water have held up 20 new projects in the steel sector in the areas of pelletisation and beneficiation.

Mr D K Singh steel & mines secretary of Odisha said “The steel task force has received 20 proposals for polarization and beneficiation. Most of the developers are small to medium scale players keen to set up their projects in iron ore rich Sundergarh and Keonjhar districts. But there are issues of land availability and allotment of water because of which we have been unable to take any call on these projects.”

The proposals for pellet making and beneficiation have been received from players like NR International, Aryan Ispat & Power Ltd, Shyam Metalliks and MSP Metalliks. Previously, Bhushan Steel had proposed a 12 million tonne per annum iron ore beneficiation plant at Kumundi in Keonjhar district, four million tonne per annum pellet plant at Jalpaposi in the same district and a slurry pipeline project from Meramandali to Keonjhar.

While the state task force on steel had recommended the proposal of Bhushan Steel to the High Level Clearance Authority, it had imposed certain conditions on the company.

The state government had clarified that it is not going to commit any raw material linkage to the company. Moreover, the project would not be located on mineral bearing area or command area of any irrigation project.

In addition to these conditions, the company's requirement of land for the new projects will be subject to assessment and availability. The company has to draw water strictly as allocated for the steel plant in separate pipeline and for the slurry system through separate pipeline from the Mahanadi River.

Besides, the company will obtain no objection certificate from the Odisha Pollution Control Board and environment clearance from Union ministry of environment & forests.

In the area of polarization, mine raising contractor Thriveni Earthmovers Ltd active in the Joda mining belt, had proposed to set up a 2.6 million tonne per annum pellet making plant through joint venture with KJS Ahluwalia which owns the Nuagaon iron ore mines.

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