‘As a sequel, VSP spending huge amount on raw material'
A senior official of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, on Wednesday admitted that denial of captive mines was a big setback to VSP.
Taking part in a seminar organised by CITU at Ukkunagaram, RINL General Manager (mines) Krishnamoorty Raghu said several pleas by VSP for mining leases in Andhra Pradesh and other States had not been considered favourably.
AP had low-grade iron ore mines with reserves of 260 million tonnes spread over 1,307 hectares in Anantapur, Prakasam, Karimnagar and Khammam districts.
VSP applied for two leases each in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
In Bayyaram of Khammam district, lease was sought in an area of 35 sq. km.
Mr. Raghu said Orissa and other States were questioning as to why VSP was not able to get mines in Andhra Pradesh. They were also insisting that to get mines in their State, VSP should either have a plan or some value addition facility in their State to generate employment and revenue.
He wondered how parochial considerations could be made in a decontrolled regime and at a time when everyone was talking about the world becoming a globalised village.
He said VSP was the only major steel plant in the country without having captive mines. Consequently, VSP was spending a huge amount towards raw material procurement.
Apart from trying for iron ore mines, the search for acquisition of coal mines by VSP had not achieved the desired results. Mr. Raghu said the International Coal Ventures Ltd, the special purpose vehicle floated by RINL, SAIL, CIL and others, had not made much progress in acquiring coal mines.
He said there were problems with regard to forest clearance for getting dolomite mines.
At one point of time, VSP also proposed to enter into a joint venture with AP Mining Development Corporation to undertake mining in the State.
Seeking fast-track clearance for mining leases, he said they were trying to obtain required clearances for strategic investment in Bird Group of Companies so as to get control over 200 million tonne of iron ore reserves owned by the group in Orissa.