Saturday, April 19, 2014

SAIL to outsource the development of two big mines

FOR the first time in its history, public sector steel major Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) will outsource the development of two of its biggest iron-ore mine reserves. These two reserves are Chiria in Jharkhand and Rowghat in Chhattisgarh. The Maharatna PSU plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore for developing the two.
Chiria has around 1.84 billion tonnes of ore and it will be developed...
in two phases: Seven million tonnes initially and eight million tonnes in the second. Once the developer is decided, a mine would take three to four years to become operational, says a media report.
Rowghat has an estimated 500 million tonnes of ore. SAIL had received environment and forest clearances in 2009 for developing the mines, but the process was delayed due to Naxal violence.
Rowghat mines are key for SAIL’s largest steel plant at Bhilai as the company is fast depleting its raw material reserves.
SAIL would invite bids to decide a developer-cum-operator in the first quarter of the current financial year, said the media report.
In case of the Chiria mines, the detailed project report (DPR) by consultant Hatch Associates of Australia has already been approved by SAIL.
SAIL, is in the process of modernizing and expanding its production units, raw material resources and other facilities to maintain its dominant position in the Indian steel market. The objective is to enhance the production capacity to 23.46 MTPA of Hot Metal from the installed production capacity of 13.8 MTPA.
Development of the mine would give SAIL guaranteed raw-material supply to meet its capacity addition target of 50 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2025, with iron-ore requirements at 80 mtpa.  Keeping in view of the slowdown in economy, SAIL has lowered its capacity addition plan of 60 mtpa by 2020. It is in the process of implementing a modernisation programme at an investment of Rs 72,000 crore. SAIL is looking to acquire some mining assets through International Coal Ventures, a consortium of public-sector firms for buying mines abroad. SAIL Chairman C S Verma had earlier said that there were four or five good proposals in the evaluation stage and due to fall in prices of steel and other raw materials it is he best time to buy assets. SAIL is scouting for new as well as running mines in Australia, Mozambique and the US. 

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