Rio Tinto plans to invest $2 billion in Odisha iron ore mine

Mining giant Rio Tinto plans to invest $2 billion in an iron ore project in Odisha, the largest investment by an Australian company in India so far.

"It is a $2-billion project, Australia's largest so far in India.'' Sam Walsh, head of the miner's iron ore division, said today.

Rio Tinto expects to ramp up production quickly to 15 million tonnes per year, he said, adding, the company would use the produce to supply raw material to its clients in India and overseas.

The move comes at a time when local mining companies are finding it difficult to expand production or open new mines on the face of environmental challenges and opposition from displaced people and environment activists.

Ro Tinto hopes to meet regulatory as well as environmental challenges through use of state-of-the-art technology and involvement of local people.

Most mining projects in Odisha and other states in the North are hit by local resistance while iron ore mines in the South - in Karnataka and Goa – are closed on orders from the Supreme Court following cases of over-exploitation, gross irregularities and concerns of environment safety.