JINDAL Stainless (JSL), India’s largest stainless steel maker, has
acquired chrome ore assets in the Middle East and Europe. The company
has also formed a joint venture with a group of chrome ore miners in
UAE, in which it will hold the majority stake, said a top executive of
the company. Chrome ore is used for producing ferro chrome which in
turn goes in stainless steel making. The transaction will help JSL in
controlling input costs.
The acquired mines, which costed the company about $2 million, will meet internal chrome ore requirements and also serve the demand of Asian, European and American markets. While each mine has identified reserves of about 15,000/tonne per annum, real reserves would be known only after executing feasibility test and initial exploration.
“Exploration work will begin in the next 3- 6 months and would be followed by mining. The extracted ore will be meant for both captive use and exports. We have no immediate plans to set up a steel manufacturing base in the Middle East and Europe,” said JSL director (finance) Arvind Parakh.
Singapore-based JSL Ventures PT, a newly formed subsidiary of JSL, will look after all overseas mining operations of the parent company. JSL is also looking at listing the subsidiary on Singapore stock exchange over a period of 3-4 years.
Meanwhile in India, the company’s 8-lakh tonne stainless steel project in Orissa will get delayed by a year in the wake of slowdown in demand. Phase one of the project, which saw installation of ferro chrome and power plant besides a coke oven plant, is over and construction of stainless steel plant has started. The plant would get commissioned in 2011-12 instead of 2010. But, the plan to enhance capacity of Orissa factory to 1.6 million tonne at later stages has been put on hold. Besides, JSL has also shelved projects worth $1 billion in Vietnam and Indonesia for the next 6-8 months.
The company had entered into a joint venture agreement with Indonesian mining major PT Antam Tbk last year to develop a nickel smelting and stainless steel plant in Indonesia. It had also planned a 2 lakh tonne ferro chrome plant in Vietnam.
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