JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has decided to grant iron ore mining rights to two public sector units - Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) - in Bhilwara. Rajasthan industries and mines minister Rajendra Pareek told ET that the state government is sending proposal to central government for the allotment of mines to these two PSUs. "We have earmarked 864.6 ha for SAIL and 1043 ha mining area for RINL. We will allot them mines once we get the nod from central government," he said.
The two PSUs are likely to invest Rs 4000 crore in Bhilwara for creating 5 million tonnes mechanized iron ore mining capacity at Bhilwara. "Once the mining rights are granted, the state will get 2 million tonne per annum greenfield steel plant, 1.8 million tonne per annum pelletisation plant and one miilion tonne per annum sponge iron plant. These projects are likely to create 2000 direct jobs and over 20,000 indirect employment opportunities," he said.
Apart from these two companies, steel pipemaker Jindal SAW is also setting up a beneficiation plant in the same geography to produce approximately 6,000 tonnes of concentrate per day. It has executed a mining lease agreement for 30 years with Rajasthan for iron ore mines having approximately 180 mn tonnes of reserves of various categories of iron ores.
The iron ore mines of Bhilwara were discovered way back in 1967. But the ore in the area is of magnetite grade, yielding only about 30-35% recovery which is lower than that mined in Karnataka and other states. It had kept steel companies away from these mines for long. Now companies are taking interest after the Rajasthan government has assured linkages to limestone from Jaisalmer and dolomite from Jodhpur.