ROURKELA: Even as two months are left for the financial year to end, Koida Mining Circle in Sundargarh has already achieved its royalty revenue target for 2019-20.
In all likelihood, it may end up collecting over Rs 1,700 crore again to end the financial year on a high.
While sources in the iron and steel industries attribute this to panic buying of iron ore by industries as they fear closure of several mines in March, this view seems to be partially true.
Deputy Director of Mines, Koida, Salil Behera said against the upward revised revenue target of Rs 1,400 crore, the mining circle has already touched the target and hoped for earning Rs 300 crore to Rs 400 crore more by end of March with total mineral dispatch of 35 to 40 million tonnes for this financial year.
In such case, the mining circle would earn a whooping revenue of over Rs 1,700 crore for the second consecutive year.
It had scripted history in 2018-19 by collecting Rs 1,713 crore against target of Rs 1,020 crore after facing losses for four consecutive years.
As of now, 34 mines - majority of them iron ore mines - are in operation under Koida mining circle.
Amid the prevailing economic slowdown, the phenomenal growth of mining industry in the district is a significant development. However, there are varied views on development.
Local industrialists claimed that as several working mines in Odisha are getting closed by March, the iron ore consuming industries have begun stocking ore to avoid possibility of production disruption after March. But Deputy Director of Mines said increase in steel demand has triggered demand for iron ore. Besides, rise in mineral dispatch and hike in cost of minerals are the main reasons behind mining revenue growth.
“Buying of ore in advance by local industries may have contributed to the revenue growth of Koida mining circle to some extent,” he admitted.
By March-end, eight working merchant mines in the Koida mining circle will be closed for having completed 50 years or more. Tenders are being floated in a phased manner for auction of these mines.
Behera said after auction, these mines would be allowed to continue using the existing environment clearance and forest clearance certificates for two years.
Subject to obtaining other statutory clearances, these mines may start production immediately after auction. He hoped that there would not be any disruption in mineral supply after March.