UCIL eyes expansion

Jamshedpur, Jan. 18: Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), the sole authority to extract strategically important ore in the nation, is planning to expand its mines in Jharkhand.

UCIL, which commissioned its last mining project in the state in the form of an underground mine at Mohuldih in Rajnagar block of Seraikela-Kharsawan ' about 25km from Jamshedpur ' in April 2012, has decided to extend Jadugoda and Narwapahar mines in East Singhbhum district.

Addressing mediapersons at the UCIL information centre in Narwapahar today, chairman-cum-managing director (CMD) Diwakar Acharya said that most of the existing uranium mines in Jharkhand had a life span of five to 15 years.

UCIL is carrying out data collection, analysis and interpretation to expand mining activities through intensive drilling and other methods.

"Data collection at Narwapahar has been carried out for the last two weeks, while Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research has started survey and exploration work at Jadugoda. We hope to have a clear picture before the next fiscal," said Acharya.

UCIL has underground mines at Bagjata, Jadugoda, Bhatin, Narwapahar, Turamdih (all in East Singhbhum) and Mohuldih (Seraikela-Kharsawan) along with the country's first opencast uranium mine at Banduhurang in Jamshedpur. It has a capacity of producing 5,500 tonne uranium ore per day in Jharkhand.

The UCIL senior executive pointed out they were focused more on exploration of ore in Andhra Pradesh.

"We will invest around Rs 1,800 crore for a mining and processing plant of uranium ore at Tummalapalle in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. We will be starting production from this plant, which will be UCIL's largest with a capacity of 3,000 tonne ore production, as well as processing per day," said the CMD.