Limestone reserves with an estimated capacity of 500 million tonnes (mt) have been discovered in the mineral-rich Chhattisgarh state.
The new deposits of cement-making raw material have been found in five district of Chhattisgarh namely Raipur, Balodabazar, Jabjgir-Champa, Raigarh and Bastar. The mines were discovered during exploration carried out by state’s geology and mining directorate in 2017-18.
Directorate of Geology and Mining, Chhattisgarh in engaged for prospecting of limestone for last many years. Subsequently, a large number of suitable sites for establishment of cement plant of various magnitudes have been identified in the state.
“The reserves have high grade of limestone and it will be auctioned in near future,” state’s mining secretary Subodh Kumar Singh said. Chhattisgarh had earned the distinction of conducting the first ever successful non-coal mineral auction in India in February 2016 with the auction of Karhi Chandi limestone block.
In all, four limestone blocks have been e-auctioned so far after the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 stipulated auctioning as the mode of allocation of mineral resources and bring in transparency in the allocation process.
The state contributes 4.84 per cent of the national
reserves with over 8959 mt limestone deposits of all grades. The high grade of deposits are available in Raipur, Baloda-bazar, Durg, Bemetara, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Janjgirchampa, Bilaspur, Mungeli, Raigarh, Bastar and Sukma districts.
In all, 10 major cement units of country’s major producers are operational in the state. Besides expansion plan, a few new cement projects are also coming up in the state where the production of minerals has increased.
Chhattisgarh produced minerals worth Rs 246.93 billion during 2017-18 that fetched Rs 49.11 billion to mineral resources department.