Bulldozers work clearing an area at the new Suncor Fort Hills tar sands mining operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta, September 17, 2014. In 1967 Suncor helped pioneer the commercial development of Canada's oil sands, one of the largest petroleum resource basins in the world. Picture taken September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - TB3EA9N1SEBDB
The state run Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (IDCOL) on Wednesday signed a joint venture agreement with Indian Rare Earth Ltd (IREL) for implementation of Rs 450 crore beach sand mining project.
The joint venture company with 49 percent share of IDCOL and 51 percent equity of IREL, will be operational in the name of IREL-IDCOL Limited. It will apply for the fresh lease of beach sand and to explore and mine the same, said Odisha's Industries secretary Sanjeev Chopra.
He said the joint venture company would provide employment to about 400 people. As per the pre-feasibility report, development and construction period is about 24 months and pay-back period is about five years. It will also open an area for new downstream units using the product of the project, Chopra said.
IDCOL had earlier signed an MoU with IREL in 2015 regarding the formation of this JV Company.
The joint venture company will apply for lease of beach sand from Gopalpur in Ganjam district to Brahmagiri area in Puri district to explore and mine the same. A mineral separation plant will be set up with an estimated project cost of 450 crore.
Its construction period is about 24 months and pay-back period is about 5 years. It will create employment opportunity for 400 people in different categories.
Stating that Odisha has a large reserve of beach sand minerals in its coastal stretches, Chopra said ilmentite is the largest constituent of the deposit and most of them remain untapped in the state.
According to 2011 report of the Ministry of Mines, Odisha has the third largest deposit of ilmenite in the country. Andhra Pradesh has the biggest deposit followed by Kerala and Tamil Nadu at the second spot. In Odisha major deposit has been identified near Chhatrapur in Ganjam district and Brahmagiri in Puri district.
Though India has 18 percent ilmenite deposit globally, production of it has been poor, ilmenite production is the highest in Tamil Nadu followed by Odisha.
Earlier, IDCOL had applied for the mining licence (ML) and prospecting licence (PL) to the Government of Odisha for beach sand mining over an area of 5995.198 hectare in different villages along Ganjam coast.
The IREL, which has been operating mining separation units at Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Odisha, had evinced interest to form a JV with the IDCOL for development of Beach Sand Mining.