Centre seeks reply from Jharkhand over license to ArcelorMittal

Within days of granting a mining licence for operations at Karampada in Jharkhand, the ministry of mines has asked the state government for its recommendations for another such right to the steel major in the same area.

Last week, the central government had sought the state's clarifications over certain issues for granting a prospecting licence to the steel major for iron ore mining over an area of 416.93 hectares at Karampada in West Singhbhum district while granting mining licence for 662.95 hectares in the same area.

According to a senior ministry official, the mines ministry again wrote a letter to the state government on 6 April reminding it to expedite its response over certain clarifications it had sought last month on one of the recommendations of the state to grant prospecting licence to the company for iron ore mining in the region.

On 31 December, 2009, the Jharkhand government sent two recommendations for allotment of prospecting licence to the world's largest steelmaker in West Singhbhum district on 31 December, 2009.

The official said that of the two proposals, one mining plan over 416.93 hectare fell under an area which was not open for mining.

The world's largest steelmaker had signed an agreement with Jharkhand government in 2005 for setting up a 12- MTPA steel plant at an estimated cost of Rs50,000 crore but has had to face inordinate delays in land acquisition and regulatory hurdles in the way.