Staff Reporter

Around 300 representatives from adjoining areas of OSCOM attend the public hearing

BERHAMPUR: Adjoining villagers did not have any objection to the establishment of new Monazite processing plant in the Orissa Sands Complex (OSCOM) campus of the Indian Rare Earths Limited (IREL) in Ganjam district .

They extended their support to this expansion project of the IREL at a hearing called up by the State Pollution Control Board of Orissa on the OSCOM campus on Friday.

Around 300 representatives from areas adjoining the OSCOM like Bada Aryapalli, Sana Aryapalli, Kandara Aryapalli, Chamnakahandi, Chatarpur, Haripur, Bandara, Katuru, Badaputi, Matikhala, Kanamana, Chasa Kanamana, Kalipalli attended this meeting.

Chairman and Managing Director of IREL Rabi Narayan Patra, head of OSCOM Dhirendra Mohanty, Chandi Prasad Das from pollution control board, Berhampur MP, MLAs of Gopalpur and Chatrapur, Zilla Parishad president were also present at this public hearing that continued from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All participants were in favour of establishment of this new unit by the IREL but some of them also wanted the IREL to take up more peripheral developmental measures.

This new monazite processing unit is expected to be operational by 2013 and it would have a capacity of 10,000 tonnes per annum.

Now the OSCOM unit of the IREL is extracting minerals like ilemenite, rutile, sillimanite, zircon, garnet from the sand on Ganjam coast. After establishment of this new unit monazite could also be extracted.

Monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate mineral containing rare earth metals and is an important source of thorium, lanthanum, and cerium.