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Iron ore prospects: Chanda’s loss, Jamshedpur’s gain

Jamshedpur, Nov 14: In 1882, Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata came across an article entitled, “Report on the financial prospects of iron-works in the Chanda district” written by German geologist, Von Schwarz. He specially mentioned in his report that Chanda district was best suited for iron works contending that deposits of iron ore were in Lohara and Warora that were neighboring districts. Whatever interest Jamsetji evoked was diffused by the fact that the mining terms offered by the government were too restrictive and as such, nothing emerged out of the prospects.

But a report in 1899 changed all the negativity aspects for, that year, Major Mahon, an official of the British Indian Army, recommended the promotion steel industry in India. The then British Viceroy in India, Lord Curzon, did not waste time and immediately liberalized the Mineral Concession Policy. This was seen as a golden opportunity for Jamsetji to launch the first steel plant in India. And so, in 1900, he set sail to England where he met Lord George Hamilton, the Secretary of State for India and was glad to envisage the prospect of India becoming a steel producing nation.

The Prospecting License was received by Tatas on November 15, 1902, for the Chanda Ore, but after studying the quality of the ore, it was found unsuitable for steel making.

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