Panel recommends ArcelorMittal's J'khand mine for clearance
The project, Meghahatuburu Iron & Manganese Ore mine located in west Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, holds significance for the world's largest steelmaker for raw material security to its proposed 12 MTPA steel mill in the state entailing an investment of Rs 50,000 crore.
"An MoEF panel Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC)) has recommended the project for environmental clearance subject to their obtaining forestry and wildlife clearances," a source privy to the knowledge said.
The project has been pending for over three years.
While recommending green nod, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) panel EAC also considered a letter from Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board stating that the particulate level has come down in the area and was also within the limits prescribed.
"The mine lease areas being the forestland, the proponent (ArcelorMittal India) have already submitted their application for forestry clearance for diversion of forestland," the source added.
On concerns that the mining area is in close vicinity of Project Elephant in the state, the panel, as per the source, said, "It was also stated that no elephant corridor is within 10 km of the mine lease. A map duly authenticated by Chief Wildlife Warden, Jharkhand government has been submitted in this regard."
Last week a Steel Ministry official has said that the firm is serious to set up its unit in India.
"ArcelorMittal group is serious to set up their unit in India and so is the government," Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel Dalip Singh has said.
The global steel giant has plans to build 2 mega steel plants of 12-million tonne per annum (MTPA) each in Jharkhand and Orissa and one 6-MTPA plant in Karnataka at a total estimated investment of Rs 1,30,000 crore (about USD 25 billion).
The firm has applied for allocation of iron-ore mines in Karnataka, Orissa and Jharkhand and recently, the company began drilling operations in Seregarha coal block in Latehar district of Jharkhand for its proposed plant, for which a pact was signed with Jharkhand government over five years back.
Besides this, it is also awaiting permission from the state government to begin drilling at the Karampada iron ore mine in West Singhbhum district, where it is conducting prospecting exercise.
The mine is estimated to have 200 million tonne iron ore.