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Mittal nod to Chiriya mine

Ranchi, June 14: “We are game to Chiriya,” said Mittal Steel Jharkhand CEO Sanak Misra while leaving for Delhi today.

Misra, who was here for two days, believed that the term “game” would aptly describe Mittal Steel’s interest in the disputed Chiriya iron ore reserve.

The dispute over Chiriya is likely to be resolved in the first week of July through an out-of-the court settlement between the Jharkhand government and SAIL on the intervention of the PMO. Sources said this has revived the steel giant’s interest in the state.

Reiterating Mittal Steel’s interest in setting up a mega steel plant in Jharkhand, Misra said they were here to say that they were “very serious” to reinforce their commitment. “We are following it up. Mr. M.P. Singh has already visited Ranchi and I was here to continue the dialogue. We are sure Jharkhand government would do something about Chiriya,” he said.

Though Misra refused to comment further, but sources said he called on senior government officials today who assured the provisions — 600MT of iron ore for Mittals.

But, the steel giant has been asked to proceed since they have already shown interest in setting up a steel plant in the neighbouring Orissa.

Sources said the government assured Mittals that whatever part of Chiriya is released by SAIL will be given to them and if it does not fulfil their requirement, Ankua iron ore mines will also be given. Ankua has mineralised reserve of about 500MT of iron ore that is considered very good, sources said.

A SAIL spokesperson talking from Delhi said the discussions on Chiriya were going on and they were hopeful that something positive would come out soon.

Sources said the Mittals have already shortlisted Seraikela and Torpa to set up their 12MT integrated steel plant and a consultant has been asked to conduct water survey on the sites. The final site will be announced after the water survey is completed. Sources said the Mittals will give a presentation in Delhi on June 22 to discuss their future plans about the project.

Representatives of Mittal Steel also visited Heavy Engineering Corporation Limited (HEC) today and held talks with its chairman G.K. Pillai.

Insiders revealed that Mittal representatives took stock of HEC’s capabilities in connection with their proposed greenfield steel project and other mining projects in the state. Mittal Steel has signed an MoU with the state government to invest Rs 40,000 crore plus in a new steel plant in Jharkhand.

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