State-run mining giant, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) will invest Rs 16,000 crore to build a four million tonne per annum capacity steel plant at Dilli Mili in Chattisgarh, NMDC chairman Rana Som told
The proposal of the state-run company has been cleared by Steel Ministry. The plant will be set up in less than four years. The work for NMDC’s steel plant will begin shortly. NMDC is in the process of short-listing a global consultant to carry out the detailed project report for its upcoming steel plant.
On completion the plant will take the annual turnover of the corporation to Rs 22,000 from Rs 6,000 crore now, Som said.
NMDC will hold 100 per cent equity in the project and the Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited will provide technical assistance while the plant is under construction.
According to Som NMDC will source iron ore from Bailadila mines in Chattisgarh that has huge deposits of high-grade iron ore and was being eyed by private steel makers including Essar Steel and Tata Steel for a very long time.
“Iron ore deposits at Bailadila were explored by NMDC. The rich iron ore will make use of coke virtually redundant. The iron ore deposits are located at Dilli-Mili. We chose Dilli-Mili from among three sites suggested by MECON, the project consultant,” Som said.
Chattisgarh administration is likely to allocate a large acreage of the Bailadila mines for the NMDC’s upcoming plant, Som said.
NMDC was recently accorded the Navaratna status that allows a public sector enterprise to a larger space to operate. NMDC will now scout for mining assets abroad. NMDC accounts for 15 per cent, or 30 million tonnes, of India's iron ore production and has initiated talks with companies in Australia, Canada and Brazil to acquire acreages.
Som said NMDC is constantly exploring new deposits in its existing mines and its Bailadila 14 mine has iron deposits to the tune of 143 million tonnes.