Long wait for resumption of iron ore mine in Parbat

Published On: January 29, 2024 09:40 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

PARBAT, Jan 29: The closure of the iron ore mine in Mahashila rural municipality-6, Parbat since a long time has left the local residents disappointed. 

The mine has been inoperative since the year 2007 BS, and the locals express dissatisfaction with the apparent lack of concern from relevant authorities regarding the reopening of the mine. Despite a three-year effort by a squad from the Department of Mines and Geology in Lainchaur to excavate the mine, there has been no significant progress reported so far.

During their study, the team of geologists used electrical resistivity technology and discovered a substantial presence of iron ore in various locations—some on the surface and some beneath the earth. The ore mine spans an area of two kilometers.

Local youth, Jeevan Bikram Uchchai, said that there seems to be a lack of priority for further exploration of the mine. The Department and Nepal Parbat Ore Mine Industry on December 23 , 2010 explored ways to resume the mine's operation. The mine is situated 40 kilometers away from the district headquarters Kushma Bazar. 

The rural municipality has shown its interest in operating the mine lately. Locals share that the equipment and utensils made from the iron extracted from this mine 73 years ago could be bought and were in use even until 1984. 

According to the elders, unlike the iron extracted from other places, the iron ore found here does not need to be refined. The ore extracted from the mine can be directly melted to manufacture different tools and wares. 

Prem Bahadur Sunar, a local, said the extraction was stopped at the mine later for lack of coal supply.

The home-made implements manufactured using the iron extracted from this mine used to be sold in the villages of Baglung, Palpa and Syngja among other districts. The iron used in the cables for building bridges over the rivers in Parbat and surrounding places also came from this iron mine. The bridges using the cables made out of iron from this mine can still be seen at Modibeni and Jaimini Ghat.

It is said that around 400 households used to eke out a living extracting iron ore from this mine and selling it until five decades ago.

The ward chair Govinda Bahadur BK said the village itself is named Phalam Khani (iron mine) owing to the large number of iron mines throughout the village.

According to him, operation of the mine here would contribute to the country's economy and scores of youths will get employment. "We are compelled to use imported iron and steel due to the inability to operate the mine that is at our doorstep," lamented Bal Bahadur Chhetri, a local. 

According to him, although several efforts were made by the then District Development Committee 20 years back for operating the mine after consulting with the central government and various geologists and mines experts, these efforts were not successful.

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