Iron ore pellets

The Indian Supreme Court has ordered the federal government to consider Posco‘s plans to develop a $12bn steel plant in the state of Orissa.

The court overturned a lower court’s decision prohibiting the South Korean steelmaker from mining iron ore, and directed the government to consider all objections raised regarding the steel project.

POSCO has been waiting for more than eight years to obtain required approvals, land and an iron ore mining license in order to commence work on the steel project, which is considered to be India’s largest foreign direct investment.

The plant, which will be located in the eastern part of Orissa, is expected to have a production capacity of 12 million tonnes per year.

However, Posco is still expected to face various challenges and protests by locals over mining in the region.

In 2009, the Orissa Government recommended Posco to the central government to grant prospective license for Khandadhar iron ore deposits, a decision which was challenged by local miner Geomin Minerals & Marketing, reports the Times of India.

The company is seeking 2,700 acres to start the first stage of the project, which comprises setting up two plants in two phases, producing four million tonnes each.

The company signed an agreement with Odisha in June 2005 to set up the steel plant on 4,004 acres of land.

Image: The first stage of the Posco’s planned $12bn steel project includes establishing two plants producing four million tonnes of iron ore each. Photo: Lars Lentz.

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