| SAIL starts model village project in Kalta, close to Kalta iron mines in Orissa
|Kalta, a village close to Kalta iron mines in Orissa, is set for a facelift.
The hamlet can boast of steady supply of drinking water, solar lamp-lit streets, a community hall-cum-vocational training centre and self-employed youths after Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) converts it into a “model steel village”.
Ganantra Ojha, the director of personnel and in-charge of SAIL’s raw material division, inaugurated work on parts of the project on Wednesday.
“We have already spent Rs 1.30 crore to develop Kalta’s roads, install 56 solar lamps there and establish a mini-stadium, a community hall-cum-vocational training centre and drinking water supply.
“Further plans include an investment of Rs 25 lakh to develop infrastructure,” Ojha explained.
But SAIL’s plans don’t just end with a pretty and self-sufficient village, as the PSU is also concentrating on people residing there. SAIL has started a centre to teach fishery, sewing and stitching and leaf-plate making to the residents. With that an orchard with 1,000 and odd fruit-bearing trees is also in place to promote employment.
The Kalta project is a part of SAIL’s corporate social responsibility plans and the PSU plans to spend Rs 100 crore and more on it.
A senior company official pointed out that despite incurring losses while operating the Kalta mines, the PSU decided to go ahead with the model steel village plans.
Focusing on remote villages surrounding the mines and plants, SAIL has chalked out plans to develop 16 villages into models, of which nine would be in the mines areas.
SAIL’s raw material division, which operates all mines in the eastern sector, has identified villages around its mines in Orissa, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh.
Likely, expenditure for developing the nine hamlets under the division would be close to Rs 5.56 crore in the current year.
The steel major has been working in the social welfare sector for five decades now and has received accolades, including two national awards and the CSR-FICCI annual award (2006-07), for outstanding achievement in rural and community development initiatives.
The public sector unit has also received the Businessworld Corporate Social Responsibility Award-2006.
| Jharkhand: Mining & Mineral Sector
|MINERAL BASED INDUSTRIES
The availability of abundant mineral resources has led to the setting up of a number of industries in the State which include, inter alia, iron & steel, cement, coke ovens, washeries, refractories, alumina, sponge iron, ceramic, graphite processing, granite cutting and polishing etc.
The State Industrial Policy (SIP) has categorized the mineral based industries as a thrust area. The SIP also lays down the policy instruments, strategy and infrastructural support for establishment of such projects.
The State of Jharkhand is endowed with 72.2 Billion Tonnes of coal of all categories. This is distributed in 12 Major Coalfields. The maturity of coal varies from meta lignitous coal of low rank to Semi anthracitic coal. Jharkhand is the only State, which is having prime coking coal, which with or without washing can be directly fed to Coke oven for making metallurgical coke. Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Ltd., (JSMDC Ltd.), and four major Companies of Coal India Ltd., viz Central Coalfields Limited, Bharat Coking Coal Ltd., Eastern Coalfields Limited and Central Mine Planning & Design Institute Ltd. are contributing to the production of coal. Other entrepreneurs like Tata Steel, Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Ltd. and Damodar Valley Corporation are also having their captive mines in the State. As is well known, the major resources of coal in the country are with high ash contents. As per the guidelines of MOEF, the coal to be transported beyond 1000 Km has to be washed to 34% ash. The State supplies about 70 MT of coal for Thermal Power Stations located in various parts of the country. There is a vast scope for establishing washeries both for the Coking coal and Non-coking coal in the State. For this, JSMDC is being geared up for entering into a joint venture with private entrepreneur. The washing of the coal is also required for supply of 24-25% ash coal to Sponge Iron Plants, which are being set up on large scale in the State. The State has vast resources of deep-seated coal deposits which are being tapped for Coal Bed Methane. The future lies in the underground gasification of coals which are difficult to reach physically. The technologies like coal liquefaction are also on anvil and there is a scope to develop it.
IRON & STEEL
Iron Ore: The state is endowed with deposits of Iron Ores of both, Hematite & Magnetite. The Hematite deposits are mainly located in the West Singhbhum District and have a resource base exceeding 3700 Million Tonnes. These have been explored only in pockets by large industry houses in their lease hold. There is a very good scope of enlarging this resource base by further exploration. The Magnetite Deposits are located in the East Singhbhum, Latehar & Palamu districts. They comprise lenticular ore bodies as well as Schist rocks with 80 to 36% magnetic. The exploration of these bodies is yet to be taken up. The existing steel mills are sourcing their iron ore (Hematite) from West Singhbhum. The Magnetite ore is being used in heavy media coal washeries & paints.
ALUMINA & ALUMINIUM
Jharkhand holds a very large potential of bauxite amounting to a reserve of 68.1 MT. Though most of the mined bauxite is targeted for metallurgical purposes for the extraction of metal aluminium, it has variety of uses in other industries, such as, abrasive, alloy-steel, aluminium, cement, ceramic, chemical, ferro-alloys, iron and steel, petroleum refining, refractory and vanaspati products, creating opportunities for various industries in small, medium and large scale.
Limestone mining in India takes its place next to coal mining. It is mainly utilized for the manufacture of cement. Next to cement industry, its potential consumers are the chemical and Iron & Steel industries. Total reserve of Limestone in Jharkhand is 511.104 MT. The deposits occur in Hazaribagh, Singhbhum, Pakur, Garhwa, Ranchi, Giridih and Bokaro districts. Production of Limestone during 2001-02 in Jharkhand was 2.13 million tonnes.
There is good scope for setting up a number of gem based industries in the State.
There is scope for value addition activities in respect of minor minerals, such as stone crushing, brick making, etc. in SSI sector.
STATUS OF OTHER MINERALS IN STATE THAT CREATE SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES
Barytes occurs in the shape of narrow veins and lenticular patches in Singhbhum and Ranchi Districts. It also occurs as thin veinlets in Palamau district within silicified shale of Lower Vindhyans. Jharkhand has a total known resources of 15 thousand tonnes of Barytes. Barytes production In Jharkhand is only 0.2% of total production in India. So, there is ample potentiality of small scale mining in Jharkhand.
a. China clay: Jharkhand is an important china clay producer in India and it has great potential with total reserve of 45.335 MT.
b. Fire clay: Fireclay beds are associated with coal seams in Gondwana rocks of Chhotanagpur terrain. The fireclays of Jharia coalfield are of good refractory quality. Fireclay is also reported from Dhanbad, Dumka, Giridih, Hazaribagh, Palamu, Singhbhum and Ranchi districts. Total reserve of fireclay in Jharkhand is 03.45 MT.
Felspar occurs as abundant mineral in pegmetites of Bihar-Jharkhand mica belt. Total reserve of feldspar in Jharkhand is 2.19 MT. The major feldspar reserves in Jharkhand are Hazaribagh, Palamau, Kodarma, Deoghar, Giridih and Dhanbad districts. Production of Felspar can be boosted through small-scale mining and industries developed locally.
Occurrences of major massive garnet (granitite) rock at isolated localities in Chhotanagpur granite gneiss terrain were earlier reported. Massive garnet rock occurs in concentrated clusters at several places to the east of Hazaribagh. Total reserve of garnet in Jharkhand is 72 thousand tonnes and entirely confined in Hazaribagh district.
Graphite, is a soft crystalline form of naturally occurring carbon. Occurrences of Graphite in Jharkhand are entirely confined to Palamu, Garhwa & Latehar district. Its grade few places interms of fixed carbon varies from 20% to 75%. In most of the occurrences, it occurs as dissemination in graphite schist and its content in the rock varies from 15% to 30%. Jharkhand has a reserve of 6.39 MT of graphite ore.
Kyanite occurs in Jharkhand in East Singhbhum and Kharsawan- Saraikela districts and its reserve in this region is 0.90 MT. It occurs either in massive form or as Quartz-Kyanite rock.
The reserve of Dolomite in Jharkhand has been estimated at 29.86 MT. This deposit is confined in Garhwa and Palamau districts.
Kodarma Mica Belt is the biggest mica track in the country and occupies about 145.74 Sq.Km of area and lies nearly north of Kodarma Railway Station. The major area of mica deposits is in Kodarma, Giridih and Hazaribagh districts. The production during the year 1999-2000 was 267 tonnes of mica crude and 222 tonnes of mica waste & scrape.
Quartz and Silica Sand
Jharkhand has got a reserve of 0.96 MT of quartz and silica sand. It occurs in Dhanbad, Ranchi, Deoghar, Palamau, Dumka, Giridih, Kodarma and Hazaribagh districts.
The entire quartzite deposit is confined in East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum (Chaibasa) and Seraikella-Kharsawan districts. Total reserve of quartzite is 37.22 MT. Total production of quartzite during the year 1999-2000 was 11,725 tonnes which is 18.72% of total quartzite production in India.
| 10 lakh people in the country may be displaced due to coal mining projects by 2025
|About 10 lakh people in the country may be displaced due to coal mining projects by 2025, according to a study conducted by the Central Mine Planning and Design Institute Limited (CMPDI), a subsidiary of Coal India Limited (CIL) and one of India's leading consultancy organisations.
"An estimated 8.5 lakh people are set to be ousted by the coal mining projects by 2025 and an additional 1.12 lakh will be displaced if the master plan, formulated by CIL for Jharia and Raniganj coalfields is implemented. The large scale displacement of people will be caused by the land requirement for coal mining which will reach 2,925 sq km by 2025, up from the existing 1,470 sq km", B Dayal, general manager (technical services) of CMPDI said.
The share of forest land for coal mining activities is also set to grow from 20-25 per cent at present to 30 per cent by 2025.
The CMPDI study has also touched upon the issue of closure of mines and the contentious issue of permitting mining in forest regions. The report has called for demarcation of coal reserves under forest areas as 'yes' and 'no' mining zones.
It has also advocated the framing of greenhouse emission norms which coal mining companies ned to adhere to during and after mining.The study points out that since rehabilitation is a very sensitive issue in the country today, there is need for consensual rehabilitation and involvement of people in the mining projects right from the beginning.
"The mining companies need to offer attractive rehabiltation packages to the displaced people. Not only this, they also have to invest in peripheral development like building better roads, hospitals and schools for the displaced families.
What they need to focus is on how they can improve the quality of life of the people who are going to be ousted as a result of the mining projects", Dayal alleged. He further said that the mining companies should make all efforts to generate alternative employment avennues for those people who are not absorbed in their projects.
Dayal cautioned that the spurt in mining activities will also generate a lot of ash and other waste products. At present, coal mining generates 300 million ton per annum of ash and another 200 million ton of washery rejects per annum are slated to be added as CIL has planned to supply washed coal to all its consumers barring pit-head power plants.
Keeping in view the contribution of mining companies to the surging pollution levels, the CMPDI study has stressed on the need for CIL to adopt clean coal technologies like Coal Bed Methane (CBM), Coal Mine Methane (CMM), underground as well as surface coal gasification and coal liquefaction.
| Dhanbad, the coal mining town of Jharkhand
|Come 4 a.m. and the outer reaches of Dhanbad, the coal mining town of Jharkhand, bustle with an activity that unfolds unfailingly every day. Scores of bicycles pedalled by men, women and children emerge from the darkness only to disappear down village roads.
They hawk no farm produce or trinkets. Instead, they carry coal illegally mined from the mines around Dhanbad and Ranchi. District administration sources put the number of bicycles at close to an astounding 50,000. Some of the coal come from mines that have been declared unsafe and closed down by Bharat Coking Coal, the Dhanbad subsidiary of Coal India (CIL). Some even ferry this coal to Nepal.
While there are no studies that say how much coal is pilfered every year, some estimates put it at about 15-20 per cent of the 430 million tonnes (mt) produced in 2006. At an average price of Rs 700 per tonne, that adds up to Rs 4,500 crore. This becomes more significant when you consider that India imported 20 mt of thermal coal in 2005-06.
Many overstate their coal requirements by misusing a system called ‘linkages’. These are assured supplies from a particular CIL block allotted to sectors such as steel, cement and brick kilns. In certain coal belts such as Ib Valley and Talcher in Orissa, some units with linkages are reported to be charging Rs 2,000 per tonne for a grade of coal that is actually priced at Rs 1,000 per tonne.
The politician-criminal nexus, the traditional bugbear of Indian polity, has turned coal into one of the murkiest sectors. The illegal operations even boast of links with high political offices cutting across party lines.
A 1997 study by the Tata Energy Research Institute found brick kiln owners as one of the protagonists. Technically, brick kiln owners needed about 22 mt of coal for 100 billion tonnes of bricks. Yet, their ‘linkages’ through CIL was only for 2 mt. This led many to surmise that the shortfall was being met through the black market and illegal mining.
To increase transparency, CIL introduced Internet-based auction for coal in 2005. Though the Supreme Court stayed the process last year, the auction netted Rs 1,000 crore. CIL officials feel it is a clear case of black money being converted to white. As an official puts it, “The sector needs unconventional and extraordinary solutions.”
The iron ore sector, too, has been contributing to the black economy. Today, 5-10 per cent of the total ore mined ends up in the black market. It all started with a sudden rise in demand from Chinese steel plants. From as low as $17 (Rs 748 then) per tonne in 2001, spot prices shot up to $80 (Rs 3,280) per tonne for a while before coming down to the current price of $60 (Rs 2,460) per tonne for higher grade ores. Many mines whose leases weren’t renewed by the Centre started working illegally.
The problem is most rampant in Karnataka. Some reports say the exchequer lost close to Rs 3,000 crore since the boom began in 2004 with most of the ore being shipped unrecorded to China. Most stakeholders agree the situation is not insurmountable. What is needed is stronger governance and tighter policy. Most also that agree these two are the most difficult to get in this country.