Odisha Mining Corporation, which is run by the state government, has received a forest clearance by the environment ministry for the development of a bauxite mine in the state of Odisha. The purpose of this mine is to help bring relief to the refinery in Lanjigarh. This is a refinery that doesn’t have too many ores and needs to have raw material imported, even though they’re located in a state that is filled with minerals.
OMC already has a mine that is positioned on the Kodingamali plateau of the state. It has an 81 million metric ton reserve which can generate around 3 million metric tons annually. Back in late September of 2017, OMC received a note from the environmental ministry that granted them permission for the diversion of forestry, 435 hectares in size to be exact, reported The Economic Times. This received a lot of opposition from local villagers and concerned environmentalists. Despite this, the mine is expected to get an environmental clearance.
The mine was originally granted an environmental clearance back in 2008. This was a point in time when an alumina refinery about 3 kilometers away was going to be established but plans for this refinery eventually got canceled. Now, OMC needs to have their environmental clearance amended because they are planning to construct a new road from the mine. This road will make it easier for trucks to transport material from the mine rather than having to use a conveyor pipeline for this purpose. Once the road is completed, it is expected to allow 800 trucks to transport as much as 3.7 million metric tons of material annually.
According to the managing director of OMC, the amendment to the environmental clearance is already recommended by the appraisal committee and it is currently in process. Many local villagers who are opposed to the clearance had previously given their approval when they thought a refinery was going to be built nearby. This change of plan has them less than thrilled.