Heavy mineral: Bothli Trade AG drags APMDC to court

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on May 19, 2015

Controversy refuses to die down on the decade old, multi-million dollar titanium dioxide mining project in Andhra Pradesh which got embroiled in a mix of politics, global businessmen and cases in the US.

The latest development is that Bothli Trade AG, part of the DF Group, based out of British Virgin Islands has dragged the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) to the High Court over the State Government’s decision to scrap its MoU with the Corporation on mine leases.

In October 2014, the AP Government decided that the proposal to allocate special mine areas in the coastal districts for mining to Bothli Trade ‘is not approved and hence withdrawn.’

Areas of contention

The Corporation and Bothli Trade had signed an MoU in 2006 to tap the rich heavy mineral sands deposits in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam districts with large investments and production facilities. Mired in problems, the project never really took off.

As per the MoU, Bothli Trade was allocated mining areas in three stretches. These included, 1,284 hectares in Kuppili, Kotapalem and Mentada in Etcherla and Ranasthalam mandals of Srikakulam district; 1,050 hectares in Koyyam, Bouthala under Kodur in Vizianagaram district; and another 1,000 hectares in a contiguous stretch in the two districts.

Bothli and APMDC were to form a JV for a mining and mineral separation plant. An investment of about ₹4,500 crore was promised and the annual turnover after completion of the final stage of project was put at around ₹18,000 crore.

Deadline extended

Meanwhile the Corporation has extended the last date for global and Indian mining companies to submit their EOI for the new mining project it has proposed to June 19 from the present May 30 to facilitate adequate time for global players to participate. The pre-bid deadline has been fixed as June 3 from May 21.

The Corporation has invited bids for JV partnership to mine, produce value-added products and set up mineral separation plant from the heavy mineral sands through four leases in the areas of Kuppili, Kotapalem and Mentada in Srikakulam district.

Published on May 19, 2015
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