ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel participating in Odisha iron ore mine auctions

To securitise its iron ore requirements, ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel (AMNS) is participating in the ongoing auctions of iron ore mines in Odisha, PTI reports. ArcelorMittal Nippon Steel India (AMNS India) is a 60:40 joint venture between L N Mittal-owned ArcelorMittal and Japan-based Nippon Steel Corporation.

“We are participating in ongoing auctions of mines in Odisha,” AMNS CEO Dilip Oommen told PTI on the sidelines of an industry event. He also replied in affirmative when asked about whether the company would be interested in more iron ore and coal mines which would be put on the block in future for auction.

AMNS India buys iron ore fines in Kirandul in Chhattisgarh, where its beneficiation is carried out and transported to Vizag through slurry pipeline where it is converted into pellets and further transported to Hazira plant in Gujarat.

Similarly in Odisha, iron ore fines are bought from private miners at Dabuna beneficiated and sent through slurry pipeline to Paradip for conversion into pellets and shipped to Hazira. Linkage of iron ore mines will help company reduce input cost significantly.

After the annulment of three notices inviting tender (NIT) released in October 2019 for auction of iron ore and manganese blocks because of conflicts between participating bidders, the Odisha government released an NIT for 20 iron ore and manganese blocks on December 6, 2019. The technical bids were expected to begin in the first week of January.

While 15 of the 20 mines to be auctioned predominantly have iron ore, three have both iron ore and manganese, while the remaining are primarily manganese reserves.

The 18 mines containing iron ore reserves together hold 1,600 million tonne of which 33 per cent (five mines) are reserved for specified end-use (captive usage). These are old mines where leases are set to expire in March 2020. The industry is also facing low demand and high input cost. The iron prices have gone up steeply… by Rs 750-800 per tonne and is still continuing to rise. Iron ore is a key raw material for steel making and any revision in its prices directly impacts the prices of steel.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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