Bhubaneswar: In a bid to expedite the sale and operationalization of the mineral blocks, the State Government has initiated the process to get environment clearance (EC) and forest clearances (FC) for two Kalimati and Unchabali mineral blocks.
Kalimati is a manganese block while Unchabali is a mix of iron ore and manganese ore. Both are located in Keonjhar district.
The Department of Steel and Mines has recently issued notices inviting requests for proposals to prepare required reports and documents to get Stage-I clearances for the two unexplored mineral blocks, said officials.
One notice was issued to hire an agency for undertaking complete assignment on turnkey basis to prepare the forest diversion proposal, including all related activities thereof leading to Forest Clearance and to facilitate obtaining in principle (Stage-I) approval of Forest land measuring 67.177 hectare involved within Kalimati Manganese block from Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) under Section-2 of the Forest (Conservation) Act-1980.
Another tender was issued to hire an agency to prepare environmental clearance proposal, including environmental impact assessment study and all related activities thereof leading to environmental clearances from the MoEF & CC and other statutory clearances from State Pollution Control Board Odisha in respect of Kalimati Manganese block.
This block is spread over two villages (Balada & Badakalimati) under Barbil tehsil of Keonjhar District.
Similarly, the Department of Steel &Mines has started the process to hire a professional agency to prepare the forest diversion proposal to facilitate obtaining in principle (Stage-I) approval of forest land measuring 78.829 hectares involved within total 80.553 ha of Unchabali iron & manganese block from MoEF& CC.
Such tender was also issued to prepare the Environmental Clearance proposal for the Unchabali mineral block spread over four villages (Balda, Jagannathpur, Kundaposhi& Unchabali ) under Barbil Tehsil of the mineral-rich Keonjhar district.
According to sources, the Centre had asked all mineral bearing states to identify at least five new mining projects for auction with pre-embedded clearance on a pilot basis with a view to expediting the sale process as well as operationalization of the blocks.
The Ministry of Mines has released guidelines for the auction of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances that will help overcome delay in operationalization of mines into production after auction.
The forest clearance (FC) has two stages. The PMU will complete the process and obtain the FC stage-I clearance as no financial commitment is required or levy to be paid.
The State Government was also asked to apply and obtain all other clearances which are required for the lessee to start the mining operations.
The successful bidders will make all payments on accounts of net present value (NPV), compensatory afforestation and other related levies and charges during the FC stage-II clearance. Therefore, the State has taken steps to get clearances for the two mines, the sources said.