Government Diverts Forest Land for KIOCL Mining in Ballari
Deccan Herald reported that Indian iron ore pellet maker KIOCL Ltd has crossed a major hurdle in its race towards winning a captive iron ore mine after 17 years. The company has received a Stage-1 approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (Forest Conservation Division) for diversion of 401.5761 hectares of forest land for iron ore and manganese ore mining in Devadari Hill Range in Swamimalai block forest, Sandur taluk in Ballari district. This includes 388 hectares for mining and 13.5761 hectares for building approach roads.
The company expects to secure all the approvals within the next year and commence mining operations thereafter. The company will be investing around INR 1,500 crore to start mining in the region, including setting up a beneficiation plant. It has already prepared the mining plan. The proposed mining area is estimated to yield a total of 33.53 million tonnes of iron ore. To begin with, the company plans to generate half a million tonne of iron ore and scale it up to 2 million tonnes per annum over a period of five years.
KIOCL, which operates a 3.5 million tonne per annum iron pellet plant at Mangaluru had stopped mining at its earlier captive mines in Kudremukh hill range in Chikkamagaluru district in 2006 after a Supreme Court order prohibited mining in the eco-sensitive forest area. Since then, the export-oriented company has been sourcing iron ore from NMDCs mines in Chhattisgarh to run its pellet plant.