Amid speculation about fate of its existing $18 billion India projects, global steel giant ArcelorMittal has said it continues to pursue Jharkhand and Karnataka projects with progress on land acquisition and raw material security front.
"In India the company continues to pursue its greenfield projects in Jharkhand and Karnataka. In Karnataka, the government has transferred 2,660 acres of private land in the company's name. In Jharkhand, land acquisition is through the State government under the consent award scheme. Requisite consent from villagers has been received," a spokesperson for the world's largest steel maker told PTI.
The statement assumes significance in the wake of ArcelorMittal, in the biggest foreign investment pullout, scrapping its $12 billion Odisha project earlier this month over inordinate delays, problems in acquiring land and securing iron ore linkages.
The spokesperson said the company has secured environmental clearance for the allocated Karampada iron-ore mine in Jharkhand and applied for forest clearance to the state government "which is now with Ministry of Environment and Forest in New Delhi for final approval".
"We have completed exploration work at the Seregarha coal block in Jharkhand and have applied to the Government of Jharkhand for a mining lease and for final approval by the Coal Ministry," ArcelorMittal said.
Not able to make much progress in Jharkhand, it has already sought Centre's help in expediting mining lease grant.
Raising the issue of inordinate delays in getting mining lease for Karampada mines in Singhbhum district it has told the Steel Ministry that all requirements have been completed but Forest clearance is pending.
The company had entered into a pact with Jharkhand government in 2005 for setting up a 12 MTPA steel plant.
The Centre had given its nod to the state government's proposal for granting prospecting licence to ArcelorMittal over 662.95 hectares of land in Karampada region in 2010. The mine is estimated to have 200 MT of iron ore reserves.
Steel Secretary D R S Chaudhary had urged the state government to have "a single window system for handling such applications".
The steelmaker has also been facing delays in land acquisition and regulatory hurdles to launch the venture.
Faced with opposition from villagers from the Khunti, Gumla areas, where the plant was proposed initially, it is making efforts to acquire land at Petarwar in Bokaro district in the state.
The company has also raised the issue of extremist problems in the state.
On Karnataka front, the company is yet to secure entire 4,865 acres of land, required for its USD 6 billion steel plant.
It had inked the pact with Karnataka government in June 2010 to set up a 6 MTPA steel plant.