K’taka to be world’s larest steel maker: Bommai

  • Karnataka will be the world’s largest steel manufacturer, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said as he invited investors to explore the state’s mining sector on Saturday.
  • “I want to assure you. Karnataka has large steel manufacturing units in India today. In the next 4-5 years, the world’s largest steel manufacturer will be Karnataka,” Bommai said at an investors conclave on commercial coal mine auctions and opportunities in the mining sector.
  • Bommai pointed out that Karnataka has quality mines. “The highest grade iron ore is found in Karnataka’s Ballari,” he said. “We have a very good policy. I invite investors to come and explore the best of the opportunities. My government will stand by you, work with you shoulder-to-shoulder,” he said.
  • Karnataka’s mining sector was tarnished and the Supreme Court in 2011 had to suspend all operations in the mineral-rich Ballari district due to massive illegalities.
  • “Earlier, there was exploitation. Therefore, the courts had to intervene. Now, a proper policy and method have been set in place. Auctions have to be done. I’ve asked my officers to take it up efficiently and transparently,” Bommai said, adding that the process of auctioning 16 mineral blocks will start soon followed by another 25 blocks.
  • At the event, Bommai urged the union government to keep upgrading technology in the mining sector. He cited examples of high-grade quality steel in Finland and China. “India could have been number one in the iron and steel sector two decades back. But, we lost that chance,” he said.
  • Inviting investors to Karnataka, Bommai said the state has various mines including tungsten, nickel and chromite.
Bommai told investors that Karnataka is investing Rs 2.5 lakh crore in renewable energy over the next three years. “This includes solar and wind that are already established. We’re exploring hydrogen fuels and production of ammonia through sea water. Karnataka is the highest renewable energy producer in India,” he said.
Union Mines Minister Pralhad Joshi said 29 out of 31 districts in Karnataka have mineral deposits. “Karnataka ranks 2nd in auctioning of blocks after Odisha,” he said.
Bommai said one mining company had come forward to restart gold mining at KGF. “I said nothing like it if it restarts because it’d give 5,000 jobs and revenues. We have an open mind,” he said. The Bharat Gold Mines Ltd, which operated the KGF, was closed in 2001.


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