Tata Steel, with a century of experience in mining raw materials, understands the finite nature of natural resources and addresses the depletion of high-grade ore deposits through responsible mining practices.
Sustainable and responsible mining is fundamental to the ethos of Tata Steel. Principle inputs in the manufacture of steel are iron ore, coal and limestone, all natural resources. Tata Steel's Raw Materials Division ensures safe, scientific and efficient mining without causing any adverse effect on the environment. The Company operates ore mines, quarries and collieries in the eastern states of Jharkhand and Odisha and all key mining sites are certiﬁed under EMS ISO 14001, the international environmental management standard.
Scientific mining and conservation of minerals:
Tata Steel adopts advanced scientific mining technologies and ensures conservation of minerals. Innovative ore beneficiation and extraction techniques are used to ensure minimum waste. At OMQ - Joda, the Company has set up a computerised Central Mine Planning Cell since 1989, with the facilities of Surpac Mine Planning Software, Total Station survey instrument and other ancillary facilities, such as, installation of Coupled Plasma Analyser Units and GPS based Truck Dispatch Systems. The Sukinda Chromite Mine in Odisha is the first mine in the world to be certified under Quality Management System (SA 8000) and is also certified under Environment Management System (ISO 14001:2004) apart from a host of other standards and certifications.
Protection of water resources at mines:
Mining operations across the iron mines are restricted above the ground water table to ensure that there is no intersection of the ground water table. No natural watercourse or water resources are obstructed due to the Company’s mining operations where they exist. Experts from IIT, Kharagpur monitor ground water quality at the iron ore mines every quarter and the results are submitted to Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India and respective State Pollution Control Boards twice a year. Besides, Tata Steel also conserves water through - zero wastewater discharge from collieries, implementation of scientific rainwater harvesting systems and artificial recharge of ground water.
Minimising biodiversity impacts:
No national parks, wild life sanctuaries, elephant corridors and tiger reserves exist within a 10 kilometre radius of the core zone around Tata Steel’s operational locations. The Company pursues voluntary initiatives to assess and mitigate potential impacts of mining on sensitive ecosystems and is looking to collaborate with IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) to explore the possibility of working on biodiversity.
Restoration of mined out land:
Tata Steel ensures a green world around its mines through reclamation and rehabilitation of mined land. The mines have taken a pioneering role in preventing soil erosion and stabilising the dump slope faster through advanced methods of land reclamation.
The Company has built several lush green botanical parks and zoological gardens that house exotic species of flora and fauna. Some of these parks are -
- Sir Dorabji Tata Botanical Park at Noamundi, spread over an area about 45 acres and established in a mined out land, is a model for mined out land reclamation.
- The vast and verdant Sir Dorabji Tata Park at Jharia, once mined out area, has been reclaimed by developing a park and growing local varieties of fruit trees.
- The Tata Steel zoological Park at Jamshedpur aims to protect and restore the natural habitat of local species
- Entire hills at the West Bokaro collieries have also been reclaimed.
- Spread over an area of 1,720 square metres, the Rare Plant Park at Noamundi is the only park of its kind in the state that helps create awareness on rare plant species.
Additionally, under the Company’s Reclamation and Rehabilitation Plan, a total of 165.4 hectares of land at Noamundi has been covered with plantation. In FY 2012-2013, Vetiver plantation drive was also undertaken along with various fencing and plantation initiatives at Katamati. Around 1300 trees were planted in the safety zone around this region. Tata Steel also conducted digital processing of the entire lease area under the Noamundi Iron Ore Mines using high-resolution satellite imagery.
Tata Steel’s collaboration towards responsible mining:
Tata Steel is an active member of various industry committees and associations across the globe, including World Steel Association (Worldsteel), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI). The Company pursues various collaborative initiatives with these industry associations to ensure sustainable mining.
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