HYDERABAD: Mines and geology minister T Harish Rao has hinted that the proposal to set up steel plant in Bayyaram may not materialise now. However, to expedite the process, the government would rope in international agencies to complete the necessary exploration in the site to make it ready for setting up the steel plant, he added.
The minister disclosed this information during the question hour in the Legislative Council here on Tuesday.
To set up a steel plant, the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) mandates that the particular site has iron reserves up to 200 million tonnes of iron ore in G3 category. The iron ore reserves are categorised as G1, G2, G3 and G4 in decreasing order of metal quality.
While the investigations conducted so far confirmed that site has around 302 million tonnes of iron ore, the availability of metal in G4 status is posing a problem. The SAIL will accord permission for a steel plant only if the available reserves are upgraded to G3 status besides fulfilling a host of other prerequisites.
As for upgrading the metal in 12 iron ore blocks, spread across various districts, he said the GSI had sought two years time to complete the drilling and exploration. Since these blocks come under forest area there was a need to seek the permission of Union forest ministry, he said.
“Due to these practical problems, the government wants to involve several multinational companies and private agencies to expedite the process. And the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation will serve as the nodal agency,” he added.
Steel plant to wait: As the aforementioned process set to consume time, he said the government wanted to set up beneficiation and pelletisation plants in first two stages before going in for a full-fledged steel plant.