Kathmandu, January 13
After seven months of exploration, the government has confirmed the discovery of a huge deposit of highgrade iron ore in Nawalparasi district.
The Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) has claimed to have discovered at least 100 million tonnes of iron ore in four different places of the district.
Som Nath Sapkota, director general of DoMG, said the department is preparing to make necessary documents to draft the terms of reference for the feasibility and detailed project reports for excavation and mining works.
As per the preliminary study, the iron ore deposits can be found in an area that is 10 kilometres long, three to five kilometres wide and 100 metres deep. A Chinese technical team has been conducting the study and will soon hand over all the reports to the department, he said.
Sapkota further said that the team has been requesting related authorities to provide electricity, access road and forest clearance to conduct detailed project report, environment impact assessment and other preparatory works.
Earlier, the department had established a company named ‘Dhaubadi Falam Khani Ltd’ on the premises of the department to expedite the project work. The project is located at Hopsey village of Nawalparasi district.
As per the department, the government will own 55 per cent stake and remaining 45 per cent will be allocated to the private sector.
The company’s paid-up capital is Rs 10 billion and issued capital is Rs four billion.
The government recently appointed Sovakanta Poudel as the chairperson of the company.
“We have completed the first phase of the study on the possible areas of extracting iron ore from the huge deposit,” said Sapkota.
According to the department, deposits have been found in Dhaubadi in the east, Deurali village in the west, Rumse in the south and Lhape in the north.
“Quality testing of samples of iron ores from Nawalpur has already been done in the Chinese laboratory. Now, industrial and commercial testing works are in the final stages and will be completed over the next two weeks,” he informed.
Moreover, the department has also initiated the process of shifting excavation of river-based construction raw materials to protect the rivers. It has initiated the process to use 92 mines of 14 different districts for the excavation of stones and sand, among others.
A version of this article appears in print on January 14, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.