KIOCL plans to set up steel plant

Special Correspondent

Company to seek lifting of ban on mining in the area

It will approach Supreme Court with a feasibility study

Bangalore: Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd., renamed KIOCL Ltd. with effect from January 22, announced on Saturday that it has shortlisted two environmental consultants to conduct a study on the feasibility of mining in Kudremukh.

The company’s Managing Director, K. Ranganath, said the study, which will take “at least one year to complete”, would enable KIOCL to approach the Supreme Court for a review of the ban on mining in the area imposed by the court since December 31, 2005.

Mr. Ranganath said the company “is prepared to pay the price for extracting ore” by way of introducing new technologies that would mitigate the adverse impact on the environment.

The company is seeking a joint venture partner to establish a five million tonne steel plant in the State, which will require an investment of about Rs. 9,000 crore to Rs. 10,000 crore. The company plans to hold a 26 per cent stake, which involves an investment of Rs. 520 crore by KIOCL as equity in the joint venture. The company plans to float Expressions of Interest seeking joint venture partners soon. “This venture will enable us to develop forward linkages,” he said.

The company is scouting for a captive iron ore mine for the steel plant. The company is “looking for a mine with a capacity of about 150 to 200 million tonnes,” Mr. Ranganath said.

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