The world’s biggest steel maker, Arcelor Mittal, has identified iron ore mines with deposits of 200 million tonnes for its upcoming project in Jharkhand. However, the company is yet to finalise iron ore linkages for its Orissa plant. The company plans to invest a mind-boggling $24 billion (Rs 1,00,000 crore) in these two projects to eventually produce 24 million tonnes of steel.
According to Jharkhand government sources, the mines, located away from the contentious Chiriya mines, will be allocated to Arcelor Mittal shortly. These mines will, however, not be enough for Arcelor Mittal’s Jharkhand plant, which needs at least 600 million tonnes of iron ore.
The company has decided to go ahead with the smaller mines and plans to ramp up capacity as new mines are allocated.
Both the Arcelor Mittal projects are scheduled to take off in 2008 and the company hopes to complete the first phase by 2011, when 4 million tonnes of steel will be rolled out of each plant.
Aditya Mittal, chief financial officer of Arcelor Mittal, said project implementation was on track. “We have achieved quite a bit of success and expect to complete the first phase on time,” he said, but declined to comment on whether his company had approached the Jharkhand government for more iron ore mines.
Mittal said that company had identified land at both locations. The Jharkhand plant will be located at Torpa Kamdare near Gumla and its Orissa plant will be in Keonjhar district. The company is in talks with the Orissa government for land acquisition and has been assured of iron ore mine allocation once the land acquisition formalities are completed. The company has initiated feasibility studies for the Jharkhand plant and is likely to complete them soon.
Industry sources said Areclor Mittal had drawn up plant configurations for both sites. Each plant will have three blast furnaces of 4 million tonnes capacity each.