JV signed for Rs 450-cr sand mining project in Odisha

Representative image.
Two State-owned firms- the Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha Ltd (IDCOL) and the Indian Rare Earths Ltd (IREL)- inked a joint venture (JV) agreement to explore beach sand minerals. 

The JV has been approved by the Niti Aayog and the Naveen Patnaik-led state government in Odisha. IREL would have 51 per cent equity, while the remaining would belong to the IDCOL.

IDCOL has already prepared the pre-feasibility report for the setting up of a mineral separation plant with an estimated cost of Rs 450 crore. The project has the potential to create employment for 400 people.

IDCOL has submitted applications for gaining mining rights for around 5,995 hectares of land along the Ganjam coast in Odisha. The IREL has mineral separation units in Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Initially, IDCOL had plans of undertaking sand mining in 1,257 hectares of land. The estimated reserve, in the proposed area, consists of more than 100 million tonnes of heavy minerals- mostly untapped.

The mineral separation plant will be set-up in village areas of Gokhurpada, Mayurpada, Kontiagarh and Prayagi in Ganjam district.

The pre-feasibility report prepared by IDCOL envisages raw sand processing of five million tonnes per annum. The mineral separation plant would produce 0.2 million tonnes of Ilmenite; 40,000 tonnes of Garnet; and 30,000 tonnes of Silimanite. Besides these, the plant is also slated to produce 7,000 tonnes of Rutile, 8,000 tonnes of Zircon and 5,000 tonnes of Monazite. According the report, the development and construction period would run for at least two year.

Apart from generating employment in unskilled, semi-skilled, supervisory and managerial categories, the project would also open up opportunities for downstream units.

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