Lafarge seeks government nod for limestone approval, India

Lafarge seeks government nod for limestone approval, India
Published: 28 January 2014

Tagged Under: Lafarge India 

Lafarge has warned that it could be forced to shut its Indian flagship plant in Chhattisgarh as limestone reserves are fast running out. The cement major is now urging the government to speed up approvals so that it can expand the area of its limestone mine in the state.

"Any further delay in the clearance… will raise a huge risk on the survival of the plant operation," Lafarge India said in an appeal to the Cabinet Committee on Investment, highlighting the Union mines ministry’s inability to take a decision on a two-year-old proposal from the Chhattisgarh government.

Though the state government has granted the company additional mines, Lafarge has been unable to secure a lease, despite having applied for it in 2006, as the mines ministry is yet to give its approval.

Lafarge has a mining leasehold area of 1,162ha and needs 417ha more to keep its plants operational. The state government had recommended Lafarge’s case to the Centre in February 2012.

"The Chhattisgarh government had urged the mines ministry to relax the norms for additional mining area, as provided under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957, but the file is still pending," said a senior government official aware of the development.

In the absence of this clearance, the Chhattisgarh government is unable to start processing Lafarge’s application for a mining lease.

The Chattisgarh cement plant has a capacity of 5Mta. A new railway line to connect the plant to the main line is expected to be ready this March.