With limestone reserves declining, Madhya Pradesh may find it difficult to attract cement companies.
During the last four years around 10 companies, with a combined investment of INR15,000 crore, have tried to explore mines for 25Mt but met with little success.
The state mining department too has no latest data on limestone reserve. The government has allotted land to a number of companies for prospecting but most of them have found inadequate limestone particularly in Katni and Satna mines.
“We did prospecting but the results were not encouraging. We have requested the state government re-allot another land to us,” a top executive in Shree Cements told Business Standard. Though the company had been allotted 956 acres in Katni, it did not find adequate limestone reserve.
Shree Cements is awaiting government’s nod for its proposed Rs 2,000crore plant in the state.
“There are reports that limestone reserve is not of the required quality in some of our mines. We will be conducting a survey to get the latest data on limestone reserve and will consider the proposals of cement companies accordingly,” industries minister Kailash Vijayvergia said.
The companies, which recently proposed to set up shops in the state, include Platinum Cement Pvt Ltd at Nagar of Dhar district, Rashmi Metaliks Limited, KJS Cement, Sarthak Industries Limited, Rungta Mines, Adhunik Corporation Ltd, BLA Power Private Ltd, DSP Finprint Limited, Mysore Cement and Sandhya Prakash Limited.
During last September-October companies like Sanghi Cement, Shree Cement, MSP Steel & Power, ACC and Birla Corporation signed deals with the state either for capacity expansion or for new cement plants. All, however, had problems at some level. “The government has yet to grant us mining lease, it’s been months now,” DBN Rao, a top executive of Sanghi Cements said. The company has planned a 7Mt greenfield project in Katni.