The Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (IDCOl) Saturday signed an MoU with the Indian Rare Earth Limited (IREL) for the exploration of heavy minerals and for setting up a mineral separation plant. The proposed project aims to produce ilmenite, garnet, sillimanite, rutile, zircon and monazite. The Rs.450 crore plant will be set up in Odisha’s Ganjam district.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by IDCOL CMD Vishal Dev and his IREL counterpart R.N. Patra in the presence of Odisha Industry Minister Devi Prasad Mishra. The project is to be developed in a joint venture. While IDCOL will have equity shareholding up to 49 percent, the IREL, a government of India undertaking, will have 51 percent share in the joint venture, said Mishra.
The development and construction period of the project is about 24 months while it will create employment opportunity for about 400 people. IREL, which has expertise in separation of such heavy minerals, already has a plant in Odisha, Kerala and Tamilnadu.
IDCOl has applied to the Odisha government for grant of mining lease/prospecting license for beach sand mining over an area of about 6,000 hectares in different villages along the Ganjam coast. However, it has planned for beach sand mining over an area of about 1,257 hectares, said an official. There is an estimated reserve of over 100 million ton of beach sand heavy mineral which remains mostly untapped, the official added. (IANS)