Chiria iron ore mines dispute will be solved by October: Paswan

September 25th, 2008 - 12:27 am ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Sep 24 (IANS) Union Steel Minister Ram Vilas Paswan Wednesday said that the dispute over the Chiria iron ore mines in Jharkhand will be solved by October. “The dispute over the Chiria iron ore mines will be resolved by October. The Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) needs two billion tonnes iron ore for a greenfield steel plant and expansion of the Bokaro Steel Plant,” Paswan said while talking to media persons in Ranchi Wednesday.

He said: “SAIL is planning to set up a 12 million tonne greenfield steel plant and expand the capacity of Bokaro Steel Plant.”

The Jharkhand government and SAIL are locked in a legal battle over the Chiria iron mines in the high court for the past three years. Paswan met Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren and requested him to settle the dispute and withdraw the cases pending in the court. Soren has agreed to help SAIL in meeting its requirements of iron ore for the greenfield project.

“First, the SAIL requirement will be fulfilled only then private companies will be allowed to mine iron ore from Chiria,” Soren told reporters.

Global steel major ArcellorMittal is also eying the Chiria mines. The Mittal company has to set up a 12 million tonne greenfield steel plant in Jharkhand. Mittal Steel needs 600 million tonnes iron ore for 30 years.

Soren’s announcement that SAIL would be first allowed to mine for iron ore is bad news for many private steel companies that wanted iron ore from Chiria. Chiria has good quality iron ore and has proven deposits of 2.4 billion tonne.

Paswan also announced that a steel processing plant would be set up in the state’s second capital Dumka.

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