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Orissa to partner NMDC for mining of iron ore

The Orissa government has decided to tie-up with the country’s largest public sector miner NMDC to jointly explore iron ore. The state’s decision comes in the wake of a steep fall in earnings from mining operations.

A top official of the steel ministry said that the state government’s mineral exploration arm Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) is likely to ink an agreement with NMDC soon to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV. NMDC would have 49 per cent stake and OMC 51 per cent in the venture.

“The initial pooled corpus of both the PSUs is likely to be close to Rs 3,000 crore for the SPV and they would aim to produce around 10 million tonne of iron and manganese ores within five years,” the official said.

At a meeting convened in Bhubaneswar last week, Orissa chief secretary GC Pati told OMC and NMDC’s top brass to form a SPV “as early as possible” and commence works like land acquisition and identifying iron mines to be jointly explored by them.

The venture is important for the state government as iron ore contributes over 50 per cent of the state’s total mining revenue and loss in its revenue generation could adversely impact the state’s overall financial position.

Till October, Orissa has generated mining revenue of Rs 2,343 crore against Rs 3,077 crore last year. It has set a target Rs 6,346 crore in 2014-15.

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