Former Minister N K Premachandran urged the State Government to withdraw the project profile inviting private investors for mineral sand mining along the coastal regions in the state, as part of the ‘Emerging Kerala’ investors meet.
The project submitted by the Kerala State Mineral Development Corporation proposes a Rs 8 crore project for the installation of a heavy mineral concentration plant on one and a half acres of land at Arattupuzha panchayat near Kayamkulam on Public-private partnership (PPP) model.
Premachandran alleged that the move was part of opening up mineral sand mining to private players.
“It is a clear violation of the mining policy followed by the UDF Government and the previous LDF Government, which states that mineral sand mining should be exclusively carried out in the public sector,” he said.
“The proposed plant does not require a state-of-art technology and is similar to the technology put to use by two public sector companies KMML and IRE, which are currently carrying out mining in the region. There is no requirement of any foreign support in terms of technology,” he said.
Premachandran said that KMML which made an annual profit of over Rs 150 crore could easily afford a Rs 8 crore project like this.
He noted that the proposal also notes about the study conducted in the area by a foreign company named Rennision Gold Fields Consolidated (RGC).
“The fact that a government sanction is required even for academic purposes lead to suspicion. Hence the interests of the company in the sector is questionable,” he said.