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Tata Steel Centenary Celebrations
History of Tata Steel
Gorumahisani Hills
The Gorumahisani Hills

 

» History – Tata Steel
» The birth of a pioneer
» In search of steel
» The long journey
» In Search of Success
» Light at the end of the tunnel
» The spirit stays on
» The steel saga
» Going on stream
» On track
» Hard times
» Towards self-sufficiency
» An era of growth
» More than a family
» Making men of steel
» Ahead of times
» Sakchi - a dream come true
» A model town
» The many faces of care
» A social conscience

The long journey

In the summer of April 1904, an adventurous team made its way towards Chanda - C M Weld, the expert surveyor, Jamsetji’s son Dorabji Tata, and Shapurji Saklatwala. Like expert hunters they crossed the shikhar territory. Braving the danger of predators and primitive conditions, they hunted for the precious metal. According to Weld’s meticulous investigations Chanda should yield deposits of both iron ore and limestone. But unfortunately they found that the Chanda district lacked suitable coal, and its iron ore was meager and too far scattered.

The failure of the Chanda project left Weld expecting to be sent back to America immediately, but he had mistaken Jamsetji’s intentions. Having aims set on viable national alternatives, such material losses hardly affected Jamsetji. Weld was requested to stay back. The team got their next clue for exploration from an unexpected quarter. During a chance visit to the Museum outside the Nagpur Secretariat, Dorabji spotted dark patches on a geological map of the Central Provinces that indicated the existence of iron deposits. It was a place named Durg, 224 km from Nagpur.

As Weld and Dorabji climbed the hills of Dhalli and Rajahara they felt their footsteps ring with a metallic sound. The area was the richest storehouse of iron ore. With an iron content of 67%, it fell only 3% short of the maximum theoretical yield. But this plain too had to be abandoned, as iron ore is useless without steady supplies of limestone, coking coal and water; and there was no water there. Nevertheless this effort did not go in vain. Fifty years later, the same site would be used for the gigantic Bhilai Steel Plant.

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