Iron ore beneficiation plant to be built in cooperation with KIOCL
Minister for Revenue N. Raghuveera Reddy on Thursday said that the government has handed over 3,782 acres of reserve forest in the district to the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) eventually enabling it to establish an iron ore beneficiation plant in cooperation with the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL), providing employment to a large number of people.
Speaking at a press meet here in Penukonda town along with the chairman and managing director (CMD) of KIOCL, he said the government has issued a memo – no. 1063 of the Mines and Geology department – allotting 3,782 cares of forest land for mining to the APMDC in the Mancheri reserve forest of Bommanahal mandal in the district.
He also said the government has directed the APMDC to sign an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the KIOCL for establishment of an iron ore beneficiation plant to refine the low grade iron ore into one that could be of use to steel majors in the country.
Beneficiation is a process in which low grade iron ore is enriched to a grade acceptable for industrial use in steel factories.
Currently, it has been estimated that the grade of the ore from the allotted region would have ferrous content close to 35-40 per cent while beneficiation of the ore would result in enrichment of ferrous percentage to around 60 percent.
As per the proposed MoU, expected to be entered into by the APMDC and KIOCL in a week in the presence of the Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, KIOCL would invest Rs. 1,500 crore in the construction of the beneficiation plant near Nemakallu village of Bommanahal mandal capable of beneficiating close to 2.5 million tonnes in a three-year period.
The CMD of KIOCL Malay Chatterjee said that the agreement would be one in which fifty per cent of the beneficiated ore would be sold to the Visakaha steel while the rest would be used by the KIOCL.
He thanked the State government for the fast paced and prudent decision.
On the other hand, Mr. Raghuveera Reddy said that this decision by the State government allotting the land to government agencies marked a shift in the policy with a lenient bent towards the State-run enterprises to ensure both a better economy and corruption-free State.
“This venture would mean creation of 3,500 jobs directly besides another 10,000 jobs indirectly and would go a along way in creation of small and medium industry in the district to support the beneficiation plant that would come up,” said Mr. Reddy.