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KIOCL Ltd, a mini-ratna Central PSU engaged in iron ore pellet and pig iron production has evinced interest in setting up a pellet plant in Odisha, to tap huge amount of unsold fines of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), a state controlled miner.
“The setting up of pellet plant and beneficiation plant jointly with OMC will not only attract investment opportunities to the state but also generate employment opportunity for the youth in Odisha besides creating value addition and generating more revenue for the state,” Malay Chatterjee chairman-cum-managing director of Bangalore-based KIOCL said in his letter to the Odisha government.
The state government has invited KIOCL officials on December 17 to chalk out plans for location and capacity of the plant along with its commercial agreement with OMC.
The decision to propose a pellet plant in Odisha in collaboration with OMC was prompted by the fact that the state-run miner has huge quantity of fines stacked at its various mines and has not been able to to use them in the absence of technology to process them as per the requirements of the steel makers.
The problem was discussed during the state Inter Ministerial Committee (IMC) meeting, convened to provide long-term raw material supply to Odisha steel makers, who do not have any captive mines.
OMC currently has about 22-25 million tonne iron ore fines stacked at its Gandhamardhan mines. During its last visit, members of the Shah Commission, probing into cases of mining without lawful authority, had pointed out that about 110 million tonne iron ore fines have been lying at several private and government mining sites because of poor export demand andlack of large number of pelletisation plants.
KIOCL, which runs a 3.5 million tonne pelletisation plant in Mangalore , has been providing iron ore pellets to Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) plant in Rourkela since last year.