BK Birla Group’s Mangalam Cement, Sanghi Industries, MP Birla Group’s Birla Cement, Indorama Cement and three other companies are in a spot with the Rajasthan government rejecting their applications for a limestone mining lease.
The rejection follows a denotification of the region in and around Jaisalmer for limestone mining. The reasons for denotification could not be ascertained. The cement companies had applied for mining licences in the state between 2005 and 2007.
Lafarge, which inaugurated its gypsum plant recently in Khushkhera and is in the process of setting up a unit in the state, is also understood to have applied for a prospecting licence in the area.
Mangalam Cement President R C Gupta said, “We had plans to set up a cement plant in the region, but with the denotification of the limestone reserves in Jaisalmer, our application, along with others, stands cancelled. So we have put our cement project on hold there.” Rajasthan is the fourth largest state in respect of cement-grade limestone, with the state housing total reserves of 7,634 million tonne.
The other limestone-rich states are Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
The state had earlier identified 890 million tonne of probable reserves in the area and notified a few mining blocks as suitable for cement manufacturers.
Similarly, Shree Cement and Binani Cement too had shown interest in Jaisalmer’s limestones as they have substantial cement plants in the state. The company is also planning projects in Gujarat, which is close to the Jaisalmer limestone reserves.