Madhyapara stone quarry at Parbatipur in Dinajpur has finally become a profitable enterprise for three years in a row. In the nine months from August last year to May 31 this year, the revenue from the sale of 11 lakh 12 thousand 500 metric tons of stone has been about 256 crore. The mining authorities expect more profit in the current financial year than in the previous two. Mining production, operation and maintenance contractor GTC has been producing stone in full swing and the profit trend has continued for three consecutive years.
Meanwhile, MGMCL invited international tenders in February 2020 for the initiative to hire regular contractors. Due to Corona, the tender submission time was extended by several points and the last time was on June 20. Doubts have been raised as to whether the current trend of mining stone production can be continued if a new contractor is hired.
It is learned that the German Trust Consortium (GTC) comprising of Belarusian JSC Trust Socotstroy and local company Germanyia Corporation Limited has been given the responsibility of production and maintenance of Madhyapara mine in the face of continuing losses. GTC began quarrying on February 24, 2014, using most of the old and outdated mining equipment left by North Korean contractor Namnam.
GTC has achieved the capacity of extracting an average of 5,000 metric tons of stone per day by introducing three shifts with about 850 miners including foreign mining experts and local engineers. By setting a new record in stone production, the contractor rescued the Madhyapara mine from losses and made a profit for the first time in the 2018-19 financial year. In the 2018-19 and 2019-20 financial years, the mine made a profit of Tk 8 crore 26 lakh and Tk 22 crore respectively.
Meanwhile, due to untimely import of necessary excavating equipment from abroad, the production of stone was stopped in 2015 due to lack of excavating equipment. According to GTC, they could not operate the mine for 3 years due to lack of necessary excavation equipment. GTC blamed the Madhyapara mining authority for this and demanded Tk 303 crore for 3 years and purchase of parts. The matter was taken to the Arbitration Tribunal at one stage. If the arbitration tribunal gives the status quo, it goes in favor of the GTC. The contract with GTC expired on 19 February 2019. Lack of excavation equipment hampers continuous mine development and quarrying and the contractor has to sit without quarrying for most of the contract period.
GTC’s contract was extended by one year as Petrobangla could not hire an alternative contractor even after the contract expired. The Site Letter Agreement was signed with them on February 20, 2020. The agreement came into force on July 29. Under the new agreement, GTC will produce 1.1 million MT of stone a year. GTC achieved that target in 10 months. They are running mines as well as carrying out various social activities. In addition, a charity called ‘Charity Home’ has been set up in front of the main gate of the mine and free medical consultation services are being provided by experienced doctors.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid MP said, “We are giving an opportunity to the existing contractor to extend the term as the production condition of the mine is good.” However, if there is a weakness in the work of the existing contractor, we will hire a new contractor.