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Orissa govt to open chrome ore mines to private bidders

Published by MAC on 2005-09-06

Orissa govt to open chrome ore mines to private bidders

Varun Sood, New Delhi - India Press

September 06, 2005

The Orissa government may be asked to open some of the chrome ore mining fields of the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) to private bidding.

This is in accordance with the final recommendations of the Dang Committe to the steel ministry. This, the committee said, was to augment the overall reserves position with private participation.

In the report, the committee said large reserved areas should be opened for "competent reconnaissance permits, prospecting license or mining license applicants".

The move will also be in line with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act. A reconnaissance permit is granted for preliminary prospecting of a mineral for a period of three years and for a maximum area of 5,000 square kilometres, to be relinquished progressively.

The holder of this permit has preferential rights to obtain prospecting licence in the area concerned.

Areas where public sector companies had time-bound exploration programmes could be retained unders reservation, it said.

"All other areas should reserved for the OMC, both in the Sukinda valley and elsewhere in the state", it added. Almost 98 per cent of chromite ore deposits of the country are in the Sukinda valley of Orissa.

Expressing optimism at this recommendation, an industry executive said, "This will require de-reservation of areas at present reserved for OMCs but which OMC cannot themselves systematically cover within a reasonable time".

The panel also suggested to put through accelerated time-bound geological investigations to prove the entire extent of known ore-bodies and look for additional ore-bodies in new areas.

Apart from this, the panel has recommended a technical review of lease boundaries vis-à-vis chrome ore bodies in the Sukinda valley.

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