In a move to reduce dependence on highly priced Australian coking coal, India will acquire a mine in Mongolia and also set up the first steel plant in the quality coal rich country.
The Indian delegation comprising of Chairman of Steel Authority of India (SAIL) C S Verma and U P Singh, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Steel will go to Ulaanbaatar tomorrow to sign a pact in this regard.
“We are signing an MoU with the Mongolian government for allocation of some coking coal mine. We have been talking about this for about a year,” Verma who held talks with top Chinese steel officials and producers in the past two days told PTI.
The plan is to acquire the mine, utilise the coal for the steel plant India proposes to set up in Mongolia and export the rest to India through Chinese ports as Mongolia is a land locked country.
Asked whether India is expecting substantial volumes from Mongolian mines, Verma said, “I think it should happen. We will be too keen to get good volumes, good mine with lot of reserves, so that we feed the steel plant which we will be setting up there and the surplus will be brought to India,” Verma said.
“Mongolia has very good quality of coking coal mines. We do not have such quality coal mines ourselves. Let Mongolian government allocate some good coking coal mine and we will have reciprocal arrangement to set up a steel plant there,” he said.
Despite being a growing economy with abundant coking coal mines, Mongolia does not have any steel plant of its own.
The mine India plans to acquire will first meet the requirement of setting up a steel plant there. Then the surplus coking coal will be taken to from there, Verma said.