Companies

KIOCL gets in-principle nod for Devadari mines; plans to start mining by 2022-23

Our Bureau Mangaluru | Updated on June 28, 2021

MV Subba Rao, CMD, KIOCL, speaking in a press conference, in Mangaluru on Monday   -  The Hindu

Firm plans to mine around 0.3 MTPA for first five years, and scale it up to 2 MTPA later

The Centre has given an in-principle approval to KIOCL— a public sector undertaking— for mining operations in Devadari range of Ballari district.

Addressing the media in Mangaluru on Monday, MV Subba Rao, Chairman and Managing Director of KIOCL, said that the Union Environment and Forest Ministry accorded stage-1 in-principle approval on June 24 for the diversification of 401.57 hectares of forest land at Devadari Hill Range in Ballari district of Karnataka for the purpose of iron ore and manganese ore mining by KIOCL. This includes 388 ha for mining and 13.57 ha for approach road.

With this approval, KIOCL will get a captive mine of its own. He said the captive mine will provide iron ore raw material security to the company.

The company had to close mining operations in Kudremukh hill ranges in Chikmagalur district of Karnataka in 2006 following the Supreme Court order banning the mining operations in the eco-sensitive forest areas. Following this, the company did not have a captive mine to meet the requirements pellet manufacturing unit in Mangaluru.

Manufacturing capacity

KIOCL’s pellet plant in Mangaluru has a manufacturing capacity of 3.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA). The company produced 2.21 million tonnes (mt) of pellets in 2020-21 as against 2.37 mt in the previous fiscal.

In 2017, KIOCL had applied to the Karnataka government for the allotment of the captive mines in the Devadari ranges under the quota available for PSUs.

Stating that the company is hopeful of getting other approvals during the year, Rao said KIOCL is planning to start mining operations in Devadari ranges by 2022-23. The company is hopeful of getting around 33 mt of iron ore from the Devadari ranges.

KIOCL is planning to mine around 0.3 MTPA for the first five years, and it is planning to scale it up to 2 MTPA over the years.

To begin with, Devadari mine is expected to generate around 500 direct jobs and an equal number of indirect jobs.

Subba Rao said KIOCL has continued its efforts to expand the pellet market to different international markets such as Brazil and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) countries. Stating that the company has a diversified export market, he said the share of the Chinese market stood at 44 per cent and MENA countries at 41 per cent.

Published on June 28, 2021

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