Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Friday directed officials to ensure proper extraction of mineral resources while ensuring their optimized usage.

He was chairing a meeting to review the work of the Board of Directors of Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC) at the Mantralaya here.

The Board members attending the meeting decided to start operation of Aridongari Iron Ore Mine.

CMDC officials informed in the meeting that the iron ore reserve of the Aridongri mine are of a very high quality.

This apart, the members also took a decision for marketing of bauxite from the fields near Pathrai in Mainpat region of Surguja district.

Notably, CMDC  last year had expressed its intention to sell iron ore produced from the proposed Aridongri mine in Kanker district of Bastar to steel /sponge iron units at Bhilai, Raipur and Raigarh on a priority basis.

Efforts are being made to increase the production so that sufficient quantity of iron ore is available for export after meeting the requirements of the expanding home market. Export of iron ore is necessary for earning the much needed foreign exchange, officials informed.

The mining at Aridongri will be carried out by opencast mechanized method. The mining equipment required will be dozer, shovel/hydraulic excavator, dumpers, wagon drill. The project area is located near Kachhe village on Dalli-Rajhara-Bhanupratappur road.

It is also accessible by Dhamtari-Bhanupratappur road. The nearest railway station is Dalli-Rajhara situated about 30 km north from the area. Aridongri area is well connected with District Headquarter Kanker (North Bastar) by metalled road. The nearest airport is at Raipur.