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SAIL,NMDC mining projects get thumbs up from MoEF panel

The EAC,which met on February 25,after considering all the issues recommended granted green go ahead to SAIL.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi |
March 23, 2011 1:10:15 am

Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) has received a shot in the arm with a Union ministry of environment and forests committee recommending environmental clearance for the firm’s Baraiburu iron ore mine in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district.

The Maharatna firm had applied for renewing the green clearance of Baraiburu mine covering a lease area of 1,443.75 hectares,which expired last month and has an envisaged output of 10 million tonnes (MT) per annum.

It had told the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the MoEF that it would set up a 12.5 MT beneficiation plant and install a greenfield 4 MT per annum pellet plant near the mining site. It has already conducted a public hearing on September 9 last year.

The EAC,which met on February 25,after considering all the issues recommended granted green go ahead to SAIL. However,the committee reminded the PSU that in view of its proposed operations the adjoining areas are at risk of getting polluted.

Hence,the state-owned company along with other miners in the vicinity,should prepare a concerted plan to contain the pollution levels for the benefit of the locals.

Since the mining site is located in the core zone of the Singhbhum Elephant Reserve,the committee asked the company to take adequate measures to protect the flora and fauna in the forest area.

“The Forest Rights Act shall be implemented,” the panel directed and asked SAIL to monitor the air and water quality by involving the state pollution control board within six months and apprise the MoEF of the same.

The MoEF has already accorded its approval to the PSU’s Chiria mines,which SAIL argues was the most important lifeline for its plant in Bokaro and also for a proposed greenfield plant adjoining Bokaro.

Another steel ministry PSU and the country’s biggest miner National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) also got Expert Appraisal Committee’s nod for its greenfield Bailadila iron ore mine project at Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh involving 248 hectares of land.

It also okayed National Mineral Development Corporation’s plant to set up a crushing plant,stockpiles,down hill conveyor and a township. The company already has a mine in the said area and transports ore to Vishakhapatnam through railways.

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