The lone hard rock mine in Bangladesh began limited scale production on August 13 after the pandemic-led shutdown
After months of coronavirus pandemic-led closure and limited scale operations, the Madhyapara Granite Mining Company Ltd has resumed production in full swing.
The company's Belarus-based contractor Germania Trest Consortium (GTC) began lifting the hard rock in three shifts on Wednesday. Authorities concerned said about 5,500 tonnes of stone will be extracted in three shifts per day.
In the last fiscal year, Madhyapara Granite Mining Company Ltd (MGMCL) registered profit for the first time setting a record in stone extraction after signing a contract with the GTC. The contractor is responsible for rock mining, maintenance of the site and production.
Mining at Madhyapara was suspended on March 26 this year due to the virus pandemic – leaving 800 mining workers jobless.
During the closure, the workers staged several demonstrations for reopening production, clearing arrears pay, 5% salary hike, risk allowance, introducing four shifts and bringing the workers under a life insurance scheme.
On August 13, production resumed on a limited scale after the closure of more than four months. On September 1, the authorities expanded the operations in two shifts considering rock supply to ongoing mega-projects including the Padma Bridge construction and the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant.
Around 3,500 tonnes of granite was being lifted from the mine in two shifts. On Wednesday, the GTC started extraction in three shifts with a target of 1.20 lakh tonnes of granite per month.
ABM Kamruzzaman, managing director of MGMCL, hoped that the resumption of full-fledged operation would help maintain the company's profit-making track.
MGMCL went on commercial production at the lone rock mine of the country in 2007. At the initial stage, 1,500-1,800 tonnes of rock was lifted per day from the mine which later dropped to 500 tonnes only.
Against the backdrop of falling production, GTC was appointed in 2014 for rock mining and maintenance of the site. According to the agreement, GTC will get $171.86 million for 92 lakh tonnes of mined rock while the MGMCL will be responsible for supplying the mining equipment and other items.