‘29 applications submitted for allotment of captive mines in several States’

Raw material security has remained an issue of serious concern for the Rashtriya Ispat Nimgam, the corporate entity of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Despite demand from various quarters, RINL has not been able to get any captive mines and, as a result, is yet to achieve security in sourcing raw material such as iron ore and coking coal.

New leases sought

Coal blocks granted to the company by the Centre were found to be not viable.

They were surrendered sometime ago, seeking new leases. Now efforts are in full swing to get iron ore mines in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

As the iron ore leases of the Orissa Mining Development Company have expired, its dream of easing the iron ore demand to some extent after picking up 51 per cent stake in Eastern Investment Limited, a holding company for mining companies OMDC & BSLC (BIRD Group), remained a far cry. Now the management is trying to get fresh leases.

Applications

A RINL official told The Hindu that they have submitted 29 applications for allotment of captive mines in AP, Rajasthan, Odisha, Jharkhand, and other States. “We are getting positive signals about being given the leases,” he said. RINL was promised iron ore from Obulapuram and other areas after in entered into a joint venture with the APMDC.

Expansion

RINL is now in advanced stage of completing its expansion from 3.2 million tonne to 6.3 million tonne with an investment of Rs.12,500 crore. The company, which was given Navratna status on November 16, 2010, is scheduled to be listed. The Rs.2,500-crore IPO was put off thrice due to volatile market conditions and lack of consensus at finalising the price band.

High target

Though the company has come to an understanding to source most of its iron ore requirement from mining major NMDC for next 10 years, its requirement — at the rate of three times the production capacity — is set to go when it will go for further expansion. It has plans to achieve 20 million tonne with an investment of Rs.20,000 crore in the next few years.

The Rajasthan government has recommended allotment of one mine to RINL and it is under consideration of the Ministry of Mines.

Pellet plant

RINL proposes to set up a 10 million tonne iron ore pellet plant at Bhilwara at an estimated cost of Rs.1200 crore. RINL is expected to a get a mineral concession shortly. The company is also proposing to become a partner in a consortium formed by SAIL, NMDC, and others in the development of Hajigak iron ore blocks in Afghanistan.

There is also a proposal to lay a slurry pipeline from Nagarnar to Visakhapatnam. MoU with NMDC was signed for installation of 336-km length slurry pipeline from Nagarnar, Jagdalpur, to Vizag and set up a four million tonne capacity pellet plant at Vizag. Survey has just commenced.


  • Coal blocks granted to the company by the Centre were found to be not viable

  • There is a proposal to lay a slurry pipeline from Nagarnar to Visakhapatnam