Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power (JSPL) on Monday said that it would commence export of iron ore from Bolivia's El Mutun mines in the next 2-3 months.

“We will begin exports during this calendar year. In the next 2-3 months, it will begin in a smaller quantity,” JSPL Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Naveen Jindal told reporters on the sidelines of a conference organised by All-India Induction Furnaces Association.

Considered as one of the world's single biggest iron-ore deposits, the El Mutun mines have reserves of more than 40 billion tonnes.

The agreement included construction of a 1.7 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel plant, a 6 mt sponge iron plant and 10 mt iron ore pellet plant, along with a 40-year contract to mine about half of the reserves of El Mutun iron ore mines. The entire project is estimated to get an investment of about $2.1 billion.

On the steel plant, he said construction of the plant was on and it would be commissioned by 2014.

About the proposed Rs.7,000-crore initial public offering (IPO) of Jindal Power, a subsidiary of JSPL, Mr. Jindal said it would hit the markets some time during this calendar year.

Meanwhile, the All-India Induction Furnaces Association demanded a ban on online trading for steel stating it was not in the interest of the steel manufacturers as its prices have become volatile.

It also said that compounding duty scheme on the basis of power consumption should be introduced to ensure hassle-free assessment and collection of excise duty. “A joint study should be carried out scientifically involving excise department, technology experts and industry to set norms for power consumption for production of per tonne of steel considering all possible operational variables. The Excise Department could then notify the norms of power consumption for production of per tonne of steel which the industry will follow for all future assessment,” it said.

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