Deadlock over Lease Renewal of Noamundi Mines to hit revenues of Chakradharpur Division

चक्रधरपुर Chakradharpur (CKP): Jamshedpur: The deadlock over Noamundi mines lease renewal is likely to hit revenue of the Chakradharpur division of the South Eastern Railway (SER).

The divisional railways that transports about 3.5 lakh tonnes of iron ore from Noamundi mines to a Tata Steel plant each month earns in crores annually in lieu of the service its provides but now with mining lease renewal put on hold, the transportation business is likely to get affected.

“The ripple effect of the deadlock will be largely borne by the railways,” said a senior official in the divisional commercial department of the Chakradharpur railways.

The West Singhbhum mining office, on the other hand, has made adequate arrangements to check clandestine transportation of iron ore.

“How could the transporters hoodwink mining officials when e-chalans for transportation of raw material will not be generated,” said district mining officer S K Singh.

According to sources in the industry, non-renewal of the mining licence at Noamundi is likely to hit the livelihood of over 20,000 people directly or indirectly.

“Barring, the 1200 odd employees of Tata Steel, majority of the locals thrive on the daily operations at Noamundi iron ore mines,” said a senior functionary of the zonal chapter of Jharkhand Federation of Commerce and Industry.

There’s no official word from the Tata Steel yet about its imminent plan of action to address the issue but authorities privately maintained that exercise is underway to seek renewal of the mining license, at the earliest.

“Negotiations are under way at the government level and we are hoping for a positive outcome,” said a senior executive of the company requesting anonymity.

Sources have informed that the steel plant has iron stock to sustain production for a month.

Noamundi mines, about 130km from here, which commenced its operation in 1925, is one of the oldest and best open cast iron ore mines in the world with state-of-the-art mining operations.

The state government has cracked whip on Noamundi mine following the Centre’s recent directive asking states to clamp down on mines operating under second or third deemed renewals.