The Surjagad iron ore mine of Lloyds Metal and Energy Limited, which had failed to work consistently over the past five years, has begun operations again despite the police not providing the security cover sought by the company.
Over the past month-and-a-half, the company has mined more than 4,000 tonnes of iron ore.
A top source in the company said, “The company has invested a lot of social capital to make things work. Of course, the police security that we desired hasn’t yet come about but there’s a marked improvement in the security environment in Etapalli tahsil, where the mine is located. That has obviously helped.”
But what has actually set the ball rolling for the company is that it has engaged a major mine development operator (MDO), Triveni Earth Movers Private Limited, which is a leading mining operator company from Odisha with experience in operating iron ore mines in difficult areas. In August, Triveni acquired a 20 per cent stake in Lloyds. “Triveni has deployed large machines and manpower over the past few months. Today, as many as 1,500 people work on the site, as against 600 local residents earlier. Almost every household in the nearby villages has got a person or two to work in the mine. With minimum wage of Rs 540 per day per worker, the locals have found a major source of livelihood, which gives them the kind of returns they have never seen in the past,” the source said.
“Apart from this, the company has started laying the road from Alappali to Etapalli (27 kilometres) and is maintaining the 22 kilometres stretch from Etapalli to Hedri. The company has also started a clinic at Hedri with an MBBS doctor and free medicines for local residents. One of the major contributions of the company is setting up an oxygen plant at Etapalli primary health centre to serve Covid patients,” the source added.