Drilling of iron ore reserve in Nawalparasi from next week

Kathmandu, January 4

The government is set to begin drilling the recently explored iron ore reserve in Dhaubadhi VDC of Nawalparasi from next week.

Couple of surveys carried out by the Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG) in February last year had identified a huge iron ore reserve in Dhaubadhi of the district, which is spread over more than 100 hectares of land. This is also the largest iron ore reserve found in Nepal and DoMG officials have estimated the iron ore reserve to amount to almost 800 million tonnes.

“A technical team comprising experts will begin drilling at certain places in the 100 hectares of land that has been identified in Dhaubadhi from next week,” Rajendra Prasad Khanal, director general of DoMG said, adding that the department will be able to figure out the exact reserve amount of iron ore once the drilling process is completed.

Iron ore appears in the form of both rock and minerals from which metallic iron can be extracted. Like Dhaubadhi, DoMG also explored iron ore reserves in Ramechhap and Lalitpur, but the reserves there are comparatively smaller.

Once the drilling works are completed, the government plans to begin extracting iron ore from Dhaubadhi.

“When the drilling is completed, we will select appropriate technology and consultant to extract iron from Dhaubadhi reserve,” added Khanal.

Amid a programme on Tuesday, Minister for Industry Nabindra Raj Joshi had informed that the government would soon publish a notice calling for a global tender to extract iron ore from Dhaubadhi of Nawalparasi. Joshi had said that the government is focusing primarily on extracting iron, precious stones and uranium in potential areas.

Regulation amended

KATHMANDU: The government has amended the Mines and Mineral Regulation making the process of acquiring a licence more competitive and stricter.

The Cabinet, last week, had passed the amendment bill of Mines and Mineral Regulation. As per the new regulation, private firms will have to submit two proposals — technical and financial — to acquire mining licence and both proposals need to be approved by Department of Mines and Geology (DoMG).

As per the earlier provision, mining licences were distributed on financial soundness of the proposal. Rajendra Prasad Khanal, director general of DoMG, said that such provision would discourage the trend of holding mining licences. DoMG has issued 470 mining licences till date, of which 120 are for extraction and 350 for exploration.