Rashtriya Ispat Nigam, NMDC and MOIL, under the Steel Ministry, are looking to acquire iron ore assets in Brazil, the world’s second largest exporter of the steel-making raw material.

NMDC had already started due diligence in a couple of mines in the Amapa province. The Steel Ministry had initiated talks with the Brazilian authority for identifying potential targets for the other two for acquisition, a source said.

The source said all the three were eager to have their presence in the mineral-rich Latin American nation, be it by way of acquiring stake in a company having operative mine or outrightly buying a yet-to-be-developed mine.

A delegation, headed by Steel Secretary D. R. S. Chaudhary visited Brazil in November to scout for mines and investment opportunities by Indian companies in the mineral sector.

Mr. Chaudhury was accompanied by NMDC’s Technical Director N. K. Nanda and MOIL Chairman and Managing Director G. P. Kundargi, among others.

“NMDC has the ambition to become a leading global player in the iron ore sector. Hence, it needs to acquire mines in various parts of the world,” a senior Steel Ministry official said.

The company is also increasing the capacity to 48 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2014-15 from the current installed capacity of 32 mtpa.

RINL, which is on the verge of increasing its steel- making capacity to 6.3 mtpa from the existing 2.9 mtpa, operates its plant without any captive mine.

Manganese-ore maker MOIL has recently been mandated by the Ministry to increase production to cater to the growing needs of the steel industry. Steel Minister Beni Prasad Verma has asked the company to look for acquisition of mines abroad for increasing production and turnover.

MOIL is also interested in buying manganese ore and coal assets.