Bhubaneswar: As part of its diversification programme, the State owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) today signed an MoU with public sector Indian Rare Earth Ltd (IRE) to set up a mineral separation plant in Odisha's Ganjam district.
The cost of this project is pegged at Rs 450 crore.
IDCO CMD Vishal K Dev and IRE CMD R N Patra have executed the MoU at the State secretariat here in the presence of Industries minister Devi Prasad Mishra.
IDCOL has applied to the State government for grant of mining lease/prospecting licence for beach sand mining over an area of about 6,000 hectares in different villages along the Ganjam coast.
Initially, the IDCO has planned for beach sand mining over an area of about 1,257.03 hectares, Dev said adding that Odisha is gifted with a coast line of about 470 Kms.
"According to an estimation, the estimated reserve is more than 100 million ton of beach sand heavy minerals which remains mostly untapped," the release issued by the IDCO said.
"It is a new activity for IDCOL and the project will be implemented through a JV company to be promoted by IDCO and IREL," said Dev adding that technical aspects of the extraction of heavy minerals was also discussed by scientist in a Workshop organized by Industries Department recently.
IDCOL has roped in IREL, as a Joint Venture Partner which has experience in mining and separation of heavy minerals like Limonite, Monazite, Zircon, Rutile, Garnet and Sillimanite from Beach Sand and also production of rare earth and thorium compounds. IREL has Mineral Separation Units in Kerala, Tamilnadu and Odisha.
The proposed project of IDCOL envisaged at Rs 450 crore will go for Beach Sand mining and mineral processing to produce Limonite, Garnet, Sillimanite, Rutile, Zircon and Monazite. The Mineral Separation Plant will be set-up in village area of Gokhurpada, Mayurpada, Kontiagarh & Prayagi in the Ganjam District, he said
IDCOL and IREL will float JV company to implement the project. IDCOL will have equity shareholding upto 49 per cent and IRE will have minimum of 51 per centin the JV company. The development and construction period is about 24 months. The project will create employment opportunity for about 400 people in different categories, they said.
The proposed project will also attract downstream units in the area, Industries minister Devi Prasad Mishra said. "The area appears to be promising for mining of heavy minerals. But clearance from statutory authorities will take a lot of time and IREL will extend all support to the success of the project", said Patra, CMD, IREL.