Posco-India likely to get prospecting licence

Written by Agencies | Bhubaneswar, May 31: | Updated: Jun 1 2008, 00:18am hrs
Posco India may be recommended for the Khandadhar iron ore mine prospecting licence by the state government, with the completion of the re-hearing of 207 applications.

"The Government is likely to recommend the name of only one company for the prospecting licence for the rich iron ore reserve," Orissa Steel and Mines Secretary Ashok Dalwai told PTI but refused to divulge the name of the company.

Industry sources, however, said that South Korean steel giant Posco's India unit was likely to be recommended for getting the licence.

Posco signed an agreement with the Orissa Government in June 2005 for setting up a 12 million tons per annum steel plant at a cost of Rs 52,000 crore.

All steel manufacturers are vying for the prospecting licence for the Khandadhar mine in the state's Sundergarh district as the ferrous content in the iron ore mined there was more than 65 per cent, sources said.

The re-hearing of 207 applications for the iron ore mine, spread over 6204.352 hectares, had begun in February and was completed earlier this month.

Steel and Mines Minister Pradip Amat said this time, the Government would recommend the name of one company after fulfilling all legal formalities.

Dalwai said since the government had to re-check all applications before making the final recommendation it would not be possible to reveal the name of the chosen company.

Besides the CPSU Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL), many steel manufacturing companies like Jindal, MESCO had put in their applications, official sources said.