Odisha to oppose Centre’s view on Khandadhar mines

Jayanta Mallick Kolkata | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on February 08, 2015

Centre says Posco cannot have prioritised access to iron ore deposits

Odisha government will oppose Centre’s view that Posco cannot have a prioritised access to the Khandadhar iron ore deposits for captive consumption for its proposed steel making project in the State.

Prafulla Kumar Mallick, Odisha’s Steel and Mines Minister, told BusinessLine over phone from Bhubaneswar that the State’s recommendation for Centre’s concurrence had not formally been turned down.

“It cannot be a closed affair. The final recommendation was free of any technical or legal glitch. We had revised and complied with the provision of notified areas for the prospecting license proposal of the Korean steel major. It was in order and well before the MMRDA Amendment Ordinance was promulgated,” he explained.

“The Centre has not formally communicated to us of rejection of the recommendation. On the contrary, we were recently given the impression that special consideration would be made for Posco proposal,” he said.

“I would discuss the subject with the Chief Minister shortly and take a stand on the issue”, Mallick added. The original Posco project envisaged 12 million tonne capacity at an investment of $12 billion – the largest alive proposal for the country so far.

The Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar indicated that Posco has to bid in the auction process to have the right over the deposit, which planned to become the captive raw material sources for the project.

Odisha had promised toallocate the deposit to Posco through the dispensation route (first-cum-first-serve) that was in vogue until recently before the amendments to the MMRD Act 1957. The amendments were formalised through an Ordinance on January 12.

The Minister said his department revised recommendation for exploration right on only the notified area of 2,082.50 hectares following the Centre’s direction and submitted for its final nod.

A query mail to Posco’s spokesperson remained unanswered.

Published on February 08, 2015
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