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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Orissa asks SAIL to stop iron ore mining at Bolani

Tuesday, 14 Feb 2012

BS reported that state Steel and Mines Department has asked the Steel Authority of India Ltd to stop mining activities immediately at Bolani mines following the expiry of forest clearance on February 11. The steel maker has closed mining at the area and said it will resume mining within three to four days.

A top SAIL official was quoted as saying that “We could not get the forest clearance for Bolani iron ore mines in time, but we hope to get the clearance in next three or four days.”

The official said that “The MOEF could not give its consent in time to renew the clearance as the state government delayed in sending its recommendation. But we will try our best to get the clearance as soon as possible otherwise it will affect our production.”

SAIL is excavating the Bolani mine under deemed extension provision mentioned in the Mineral and Mineral (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. However, the company had received forest clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), Government of India for about 706 ha forest land that was valid till February 11.

Bolani mines, spread over 1,597 ha in Keonjhar district under Joda mines circle, possess best quality iron ores that are primarily used for the Durgapur plant of SAIL. The mine has an estimated iron ore reserve of about 150 million tonne.

In 2008, SAIL had announced to invest INR 120 crore to develop Bolani mine that included deploying highly efficient earth moving equipment and other effective mining method. Following the expansion, Bolani mine alone will supply about 10 million tonne iron ore every year to the national steel producer.

(Sourced from BS)

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