Millennium Post

SAIL to invite bids for appointing MDO for Chiria mines soon

State-owned SAIL has decided to outsource the development of its Chiria mine in Jharkhand, considered to be among the largest iron ore deposits in the world, and will be inviting bids during the current quarter for appointing a mine developer-cum operator (MDO).

The detailed project report (DPR) prepared by the external consultant, Hatch Associates of Australia, has already been approved by the company.
Accordingly, the Chiria mines, having about 1.84 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves, will be developed in two phases — 7 million tonnes (MT) in phase-I and 8 MT in phase-II. Its first phase is likely to be operational in three-four years after the finalisation of MDO.
‘They (the consultant) have given the report, the report has been seen and accepted. We are soon coming out with the notification for inviting bids for appointing the MDO,’ SAIL chairman C S Verma said.

He did not give specific time line for inviting the bids for appointing the MDO but said that ‘it will be in days only, much before the quarter ends’. Development of the Chiria mines, considered to be the future raw material lifeline of SAIL, has been delayed by many years due to various issues. In February, 2011, a major stumbling block in its development was removed when SAIL was granted forest clearance by the Environment Ministry.

SAIL had then announced to invest Rs 5,000 crore on development of Chiria mines and production was expected to begin in 2014.
Since then, several changes have been made in the plans.

Instead of 60 MTPA steel making capacity by 2020, SAIL now aims to have 50 MTPA capacity and that too by 2025 under its 'Vision 2025'. Accordingly, its iron ore requirements would also come down to 80 MTPA.
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