Plan launched to attain self-sufficiency in iron

- Narayan Sharma, NAWALPARASI

Apr 14, 2017-The government has launched an ambitious plan to achieve self-sufficiency in iron in three years, and generate Rs24 billion in revenues by exporting it in five years. 

Towards this end, extraction of iron ore will be started at Dhauwadi in Nawalparasi district, the biggest iron mine in the country, within a year.

“We are planning to conduct full-fledged mining,” said Industry Minister Nabindra Raj Joshi. He added that the government would be joining hands with the private sector to operate the mine. 

Last January, a team of geologists from the Department of Mines and Geology visited Dhauwadi to conduct a detailed study about extracting iron ore in the village. The team expects to prepare a report by the end of this fiscal year. In 2010, geologists suspected the presence of coal in Dhauwadi, but the latest study has shown that iron 

ore deposits are present in the village. The area could have an estimated 8 million tonnes of iron ore, making it the largest deposit in Nepal.

Iron ore deposits extend for 10 km from Dhauwadi to Ruchang. Previous studies have shown that the iron ore found in the village is of a high quality than that found in other parts of the country.

Minister Joshi said that the government had accorded priority to the mining industry as it could contribute to the country’s economy. The government has allocated Rs70 million to build a road to the iron mine, he said. “Construction will begin soon,” he said, adding that the necessary infrastructure to extract iron in the village would be completed within a year. 

Rajendra Khanal, director general of the Department of Mines and Geology, said that the reserve could have a pure iron content of between 40 percent and 60 percent. Khanal said that an iron content of more than 60 percent is known as high quality. 

In ancient times, Dhauwadi used to be known as Iron Village because of the presence of large deposits of iron ore in the area.

Published: 14-04-2017 09:38

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