Friday, July 25, 2014

Odisha sitting on over 300 PL applications for bauxite mines

Business Standard, July 25, 2014
Applications are pending at the level of the district collector, directorate of mines and steel & mines department
The Odisha state government is yet to dispose off over 300 pending PL (prospecting license) applications for bauxite deposits in Kalahandi district and undivided Koraput region.
Larsen & Toubro (L&T), Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (now ), Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (), Jindal Photo Ltd, Industries, RSB Metaltech Ltd and state owned Odisha Mining Corporation () are among the wait listed contenders to obtain PL over bauxite mines. The pendency rate of such applications ranges from two to 25 years, reveals a written reply given to the state assembly by steel & mines minster Prafulla Kumar Mallick.
The PL applications are pending at the level of the district collector, directorate of mines and steel & mines department.
Vedanta Group firm Sesa Sterlite that is struggling to keep operations of its one million tonne Lanjigarh refinery afloat with imported bauxite, has pending applications over bauxite deposits like Kachalekha, Porapal, Titijhola, Nalachua, Adarmajhi and Choronimaribhata to name a few. Among these applications, the mines directorate has recommended one mine- Lachhuani to the state government for rejection.
After a failed bid to mine bauxite atop the ecologically fragile, the company had urged the state government to allot alternative bauxite mines in its favour. The Union ministry of environment & forests () had said no to mine bauxite over Niyamgiri after the local Dongaria tribals unanimously trumped the project in a referendum last year.
While the mines directorate has recommended one bauxite lease- Sarambai in favour of Aditya Birla Group owned Hindalco Industries, it has referred two other mines to the government for rejection- Sasubohumlai and Chandgiri for rejection.
Two other mines- Kharkhijiguda and Aligaon where Hindalco is an applicant are pending at the mines directorate and collectorate level respectively.
RSB Metaltech that has proposed 0.70 million tonne per annum (mtpa) alumina refinery at Rayagada, has filed PL applications over a host of bauxite deposits like Jilanga, Seulipadar, Tijimali and Hadakarsi-Kandala-Karaniber.

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