Odisha to issue express order for Tata Steel’s chromite mines

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Saturday decided to issue an express order in favour of Tata Steel which has been holding chromite mines at Sukinda in Jajpur district, but refused working permission to the domestic steel major.

The decision in this regard was taken at a high level meeting presided over by Development Commissioner-cum- Additional Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi here.

“(In) the meeting today, (it was) decided to issue express order in favour of Tata Steel, but not the working permission,” said Director of Mines Deepak Mohanty, who attended the meeting.

Stating that Tata Steel has got first phase forest clearance, Mohanty said, “…If required, the state will seek clarification from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) in this regard.”

Mohanty added Tata Steel has, however, got temporary working permission for mining activities for one year from the MoEF.

Stating that the government had earlier issued express orders to eight iron ore and manganese mines to meet their captive requirements, Mohanty said, “In the case of non-iron ore (Chromite) also, the express order will be issued on the same ground.”

Asked about the fate of 18 iron ore and manganese mines which remained closed since a Supreme Court order on May 16 this year, the director of mines said the entities have been issued show cause notices to explain as to why their mining leases should be renewed.