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Web Exclusive | February 2013

IRL may abandon India projects due to delay

India-focused Australian miner India Resources (IRL), which is awaiting government approval for mining leases to carry out $200 million worth projects in India, may abandon the projects if government does not act fast.

The company, which has been waiting since 2008 for mining leases in the Aravali Range, served notices to the authorities concerned against the delay in issuing leases. The deadline of the notice will expire in around a week.

The company plans to file a case in the Rajasthan High Court against the state government for the delay as a last-ditch effort.

For the past few years, IRL has been carrying out mining operations in India for coal and non-ferrous metals. Being one of the leading foreign contract miners to operate in India, IRL had restarted the Hindustan Copper's Surda mines in Jharkhand in 2007. It was also the lowest bidder to operate Hindustan Copper’s Rakha copper mines in Jharkhand.

IRL which was the lowest bidder to operate Hindustan Copper’s Rakha copper mines in Jharkhand, is now hoping to start work after all pending legal issues are resolved.

Crown Mining, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IRL, has spent $1.5 million to explore for base metals such as lead and zinc. It, too, is awaiting mining lease for the last four years.

India has attracted several foreign mining companies such as Australia’s Thiess and Polish mining major Kopex. However, according to experts, procedural delays such as the one being witnessed in IRL’s case, may have dented the country's reputation.

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