Tata Steel inks lease deeds for six mines

12 May 2015

Tata Steel has signed supplementary lease deeds for six iron and manganese ore mines falling under Joda circle in Keonjhar district.

After the execution of lease deeds, the six mines that are poised to restart operation are Joda West, Joda East, Manmora, Khandabandh, Tiringpahad and Bamebari. All these six mines were affected by the Supreme Court order in May 2014.

The court order had snapped operations of 26 iron and manganese ore mines in the state that were functioning under the provisions of 'deemed extension' of Mineral Concession Rules (MCR), 1960.

"We have executed the supplementary lease deeds for our six mines. The company has deposited about Rs 400 crore towards stamp duty charges and registration fees," said a company source.

N Thirumala Naik, Keonjhar collector could not be reached for comments on the matter. Last week, the government had executed lease deeds for 10 mines. The lease deeds were executed for five mines owned by Rungta Group including Rungta Mines, Fee-grade & Company Ltd and the rest owned by Odisha Manganese & Minerals Ltd (OMM) and Aryan Mining & Trading Corporation Ltd (AMTC).

In toto, the state government has issued orders to extend the lease validity of 29 mines - 21 captive and the balance non-captive mines. Out of these, 25 are iron and manganese ore mines which upon resuming operation can augment iron ore production by over 40 million tonne. The mines held KJS Ahluwalia, Kaypee Enterprises, Kalinga Mining Corporation, KN Ram & Company, Vivek Lall and Bargarh Cements would also sign the supplementary lease deeds soon.

The state government had allowed three months' time (from the date of issue of orders) to lessees to sign supplementary lease deeds.

Other conditions to operate mines include payment of NPV (net present value) dues and complying with the Supreme Court order to be pronounced in the final disposal of the cases relating to these mines as well as pending orders on recommendations of the MB Shah Commission of enquiry and the central empowered committee (CEC) on illegal mining in the state.