An environment ministry panel has recommended clearance to Aditya Birla group flagship Hindalco Industries' coal mine project in Sambalpur, Orissa for doubling its capacity to three MTPA.
"The committee (Expert Appraisal Committee) recommended the project for environmental clearance," sources said.
Talabira-I coal mine project in IB valley coalfields in Orissa, allocated to Hindalco Industries in February 1994, came up for discussion for environment clearance for its expansion from current 1.5 million tonnes tonnes per annum (MTPA) to three MTPA in a recent meeting of the committee.
"The committee desired that coal transportation by road over the balance life of project of seven years could be reduced and the proponent could consider transportation by rail using railway siding to be ready by 2013," sources added.
The project had also come up for deliberation in April wherein the panel had sought details of R&R plan and forestry clearance of the project.
Earlier, Hindalco Industries had said that it has entered into a joint venture with Mahanadi Coal Ltd (MCL) and Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) for carrying out mining activities of Talabira II and III coal blocks.
The Coal Ministry had last year issued show-cause notice to MCL, NLC and Hindalco industries for not developing Talabira II coal block jointly allocated to them.
In the notice the Ministry had said that "no serious effort" had been made by them for developing the same.
Aditya Aluminium, a Hindalco division was to feed coal to its about 700 MW power unit while Neyveli needed the coal from it for 2000 MW power project.