New Delhi, Jul 23 (PTI) ArcelorMittal India has commenced operations at Thakurani iron ore block in Odisha.
The announcement was made by ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India, which is a 60:40 joint venture between L N Mittal-owned ArcelorMittal and Japan-based Nippon Steel Corporation.
Located in Keonjhar district, Thakurani block has an estimated reserves of around 179 million tonne (MT) and will meet up to 75 per cent of current requirement of ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS India) for its manufacturing facilities in Odisha.
ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS India) owns a 6 million tonne per annum pellet (MTPA) plant in Paradip in the state.
'ArcelorMittal India Private Limited (AMIPL), the holding company of ArcelorMittal has commenced mining operations at Thakurani iron ore mine. The block, with estimated reserves of around 179 MT, will make a valuable contribution to AM/NS India's long-term raw material requirements,' a statement issued by AMNS India said.
In February 2020, AMIPL was selected preferred bidder for Thakurani iron ore mine license following an auction process conducted by the Odisha government, in which AMIPL agreed to pay a 107.55 per cent premium per tonne, as well as other royalty and duties, ensuring strong revenue contribution to the state.
The block has an annual production capacity of 5.5 MT, which can be scaled up to 8 million tonne and its mineral reserves are expected to increase once detailed exploration is complete.
Dilip Oommen, CEO, AMNS India said, the firm is pleased to have commenced operations at this strategically important captive raw material site. Thakurani was the first mining lease deed executed in Keonjhar district after the recent auctions, which is testament to the transparent and efficient process run by the state government.
'The ore produced at Thakurani will feed AMNS India's steel manufacturing facilities and support our long-term ambition to significantly grow our production capacity in India with a secure, integrated supply chain.
'Over time, our plan is to connect Thakurani to our plants in Odisha through a slurry pipeline, which ensures both a cost effective and environmentally friendly mode of mineral logistics,' he said.
In an interview to PTI earlier, Oommen had shared his company's plans of participating in auction of several mines which were put on the block in Odisha.
The Odisha government had released an NIT (notices inviting tender) for 20 iron ore and manganese blocks on December 6, 2019.
He had said that in Odisha, the company buys iron ore fines from private miners at Dabuna beneficiated and sends through a slurry pipeline to Paradip for conversion into pellets which are shipped to Hazira. Linkage of iron ore mines will help the company reduce input cost significantly. PTI ABI BAL BAL