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Essar Steel has got the 'Consent to Establish' from the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) here for its Ghoraburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block. It was the first iron ore mine to be auctioned in the country. Essar Steel won the block with about 100 million tonnes deposits, outbidding strong contenders like Tata Steel and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL).
The pollution board has given the 'Consent to Establish' under Section 25 of Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Section 21 of Air (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
The approval is for production of run of the mine iron ore of capacity 7.16 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), crushing and screening plant and iron ore beneficiation plant of 6.7 mtpa. The facilities are proposed to be set up over an area of 139.16 hectares straddling the villages of Ghoraburhani, Sagasahi and Kalamanga at Koira tahsil in Sundargarh district.
The 'Consent to Establish' is seen as a precursor to the grant of 'Consent to Operate' order by the pollution watchdog. This order is subject to grant of all other statutory approvals by the Government of India and the state government.
The order is valid for five years during which Essar Steel is required to commence mining activities.
But, Essar Steel currently admitted under National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) and facing insolvency proceedings, cannot develop the iron ore mine till the resolution process is completed. The company, however, can apply for the statutory clearances.
The mining plan for the block has been approved by the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM). Essar Steel has also got the Terms of Reference (ToR) from the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change.
Earlier, the Odisha government has issued the letter of intent to Essar Steel after it emerged as the preferred bidder in the first iron ore block offered for e-auctions in Odisha. The block is at G2 exploration stage and located in Koira sector in Sundargarh district.
The mineral concession area is spread over 139.16 hectares (ha) including 20.88 ha forest land, 110.69 ha government land and the balance 7.58 ha private land. Survey of the mineral block has been done by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).
Currently, Essar Steel runs a 12 million tonne per annum (mtpa) iron ore beneficiation plant at Dabuna in Keonjhar district and six mtpa pelletisation complex at Paradeep. The iron ore mine in Odisha is expected to meet 50 per cent of the firm's pellet making facility at Paradeep.
The pellet produced at Essar Steel's Paradeep facility is primarily meant for use at its 10 million tonne integrated steel plant at Hazira.