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KIOCL gets approval for mining iron and manganese ore in Ballari


Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOCL) has received the final forest clearance from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change. The ministry has granted approval (stage 2 final forest clearance) for the mining of iron ore and manganese ore on 388 hectares of the 470.40 hectares of the Swamimalai block forest in Sandur taluk of Ballari district. In addition, a further 13.5761 hectares of forest have been cleared for the construction of utility facilities, including approach and conveyor roads as well as water and power transmission lines.

According to T. Saminathan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of KIOCL Limited, permission to divert a total of 401.5761 hectares for the planned project was granted on December 16, 2022, under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

“The business executed mining lease deed of Devadari Iron Ore Mine with the Director, Department of Mines and Geology, Karnataka on January 2, 2023, for 388 hectares for a duration of 50 years,” the CMD said in a statement to the media on February 3 in Mangaluru.

On January 18, 2023, the corporation registered the lease deed in the Sandur taluk’s sub-office registrar and paid 329.17 crores in stamp duty and registration fees.

According to Mr. Saminathan, during the term of the lease, between 30 million and 33 million tonnes of ore could be mined in the designated region.

For KIOCL Limited, a lifeline

“The Devadari Mine will provide KIOCL Ltd. with a lifeline. The final government permission is a good sign for the company to start in 2023, according to Mr. Saminathan, who also stated, “We will regain the grandeur of the past (prior to 2016).”

Mining operations won’t take place in 2023–2024 since the corporation requires that time to construct utility facilities. Three lakh tonnes of ore are anticipated to be produced in 2024–2025, followed by five lakh tonnes in 2025–2026, ten lakh tonnes (one million tonnes) in 2026–2027, and twenty lakh tonnes (two million tonnes) in 2027–28. By 2027 or 2028, the beneficiation plant close to the mining area will be operational, he promised.

Up until December 2005, the magnetite iron ore concentrate produced and processed at Kudremukh’s captive mines was used to make pellets. The business stopped mining in Kudremukh in January 2006 when the highest court prohibited mining in the ecologically vulnerable area. The mining region was later included in the Kudremukh National Park.

Export tariff reductions aided KIOCL’s revival.
According to Mr. Saminathan, the Union government’s decision to eliminate the 45% export tax on iron ore pellets with effect from November 19, 2022, has a substantial positive impact on the development and expansion of KIOCL Limited.

Following the 45% export duty’s implementation on May 22, 2022, production activities had to end because they were no longer financially sustainable. By September 30, 2022, a loss of 146 crores was incurred as a result of the judgment. The corporation is working extremely hard to make up lost ground following the reduction of export duties.

A mineral exploration lab was set up by the corporation in Mangaluru’s blast furnace facility. It is accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) to test refractory materials made of aluminum silicate, iron ore, limestone, manganese, and dolomite.

The business started providing private mining businesses with services for mineral prospecting. Additionally, it is working to secure additional mineral exploration projects from the National Mineral Exploration Trust, Central Public Sector Undertakings, and private businesses in the Karnataka base metal and bulk mineral sectors.

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