Prospecting Licence to boost manganese output: MOIL

Maharashtra govt has granted Prospecting Licence to the company for 11 blocks spread over 597 hectares

State-run manganese ore producer MOIL Ltd today said the Prospecting Licence for 11 blocks in Maharashtra that it has received from the state government would go a long way in augmenting the production of precious manganese ore in the country in coming years.

In a major boost to public sector undertaking engaged in mining, the Maharashtra government has granted Prospecting Licence (PL) to the company for 11 blocks spread over 597 hectares area in Nagpur and Bhandara districts of the state. With this, MOIL will get 11 new blocks, including three big blocks adjacent to its present ones near Gumgaon, Satak and Kandri area. MOIL is getting this new area for the first time since its inception in 1962 and this will go a long way in augmenting the production of precious Manganese Ore in the country in coming years which in turn will help steel industry to a great extent, Chairman and Managing Director G P Kundergi said.

Out of 11 blocks, six blocks are located in Ramtek, Saoner and Mouda tehsils of Nagpur district, while five blocks are located in neighbouring Tumsar tehsil of Bhandara district, Kundergi said.

At present, MOIL's existing leasehold area in Maharashtra is spread over an area of 696 hectares and with the addition of new allotment, the total area will be 1,293 hectares in Maharashtra.

Thus, the total leasehold area of MOIL (including its major facilities in Balaghat and other areas of Madhya Pradesh) will increase from 1,798.92 hectares to 2,395.92 hectares, an increase of 33.18 per cent, Kundergi said.

Thanking the state government, central government and Ministry of Steel, and Nagpur HQ Indian Bureau of Mines and its Controller General C S Gundewar for their co-operation, he hoped that it will boost manganese production in the country.

The Maharashtra government has 4.62% and Madhya Pradesh government has 3.81% share in it while remaining is of the Government of India.

Of the new area of 597 hectares, some of it will be utilised for expansion of the existing mines and the rest for possibly opening atleast four new mines.

Of this, 314 hectare is private land while 282 hectare is forest land for which certain clearances will be required.

A prospecting right is a permit which allows you or your company to survey or investigate an area of land for the purpose of identifying an actual or probable mineral deposit.

Anticipating the grant of PL, MOIL, a listed company on the BSE, has earmarked a sum of Rs 250 crore for conducting geophysical studies, exploratory drilling.

After completion of preliminary studies, the company will convert these leases to mining leases so as to start mining operations and by 2016-17, Kundergi stated.