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UCIL kicks off last mine in state

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  • Published 18.04.12

Jamshedpur, April 17: Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) today commissioned its last mining project in the state — an underground mine at Mohuldih in Rajnagar block of Seraikela-Kharsawan district, about 25km from Jamshedpur.

Speaking after the commissioning, chairman-cum-managing director of the public sector unit Diwakar Acharya said the uranium ore found during exploration at the site was not high grade, but the proximity to a milling unit at Turamdih 7km away, made UCIL opt for the project.

“The reserve at the mine is around 6.2MT but it is of a low grade (0.034 per cent uranium). The only thing working for this project was the proximity to Turamdih. The ores after mining would be taken for processing at the milling unit,” said Acharya, adding that the project was UCIL’s last in the state.

“As of now this is our last project in Jharkhand, where we have underground mines at Bagjata, Jadugoda, Bhatin, Narwapahar, Turamdih (all in East Singhbhum) and the country’s first open-cast uranium mine at Banduhurang. We will now focus on exploration for additional reserves with the help of the exploration and research wing of the department of atomic energy, but there are no mining plans,” he said.

UCIL would henceforth opt for life extension of its existing mines in the state.

“Most of the existing uranium mines in the state have a life span of five to 15 years, and we might try to extend that through intensive drilling and other methods. Our next exploration project will begin at Tummalepalle in Andhra Pradesh on April 20,” Acharya said.

UCIL, will, however, start mining operations at Gogi in Karnataka and also in Meghalaya to meet uranium requirements for the country’s nuclear power programme.

Acharya said the company was exploring the prospect of importing ore from Uzbekistan and elsewhere to meet the demand-supply gap.

The newly commissioned mine will employ 260 people, with around 70 per cent being local unskilled workers whose land have been acquired for the project spread over 289.2 acres.

The entry to the mine would be at an eight-degree decline.