SAIL, Tata Steel form 50:50 JV for coal mining

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New Delhi, Jan 3 (UNI) The public sector steel gaint Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and the country's premier steel company the Tata Steel today formally signed an agreement for the setting up of a 50:50 joint venture company for coal mining in India.

The agreement to this effect was signed by SAIL Chairman S K Roongta and Tata Steel Managing Director B Muthuraman.

Later addressing newsmen, both of them said it would open a new era of cooperation among the two premier national companies who were engaged in steel production in the country.

He said the initial paid-up capital of this new JV is just Rs 2 crore which will be shared equally by both the partners but they have already identified four coal blocks in Jharkahnd and to mine them it would require a total investment of about Rs 12,000 crore, they added.

Responding to a question, Mr Muthuram said while bidding for the new coasl mines blocks it would be kept in mind that which blocks is best suited for whom and accordingly one of them would bid for that coal block, but here both the companies interest would be there they would be making the joint bidding through the JV company.

Mr Roongta said the name of the new company will be finalised over the next two to three months time.

He further said it is not that these two companies have come closer to each other they had earlier formed a similar JV company called Metal junction which is now known as M Junction on a similar 50:50 route is doing excellent work, he added.

They said the JV company will have the added strength as Tata Steel had the experience of coal mining for over 100 years and SAIl had the expertise in coal handing and consumption.

They further said the country had not much coking coal but still there are some mines which were not been tapped so far this JV company will now try to explore the possibility of mining those coal blocks, they added.

In a response to another question, they said though initially the scope of this JV company is limited to India but which could later on be extended to overseas market also similarly, this cooperation could well be extened to the other fields of iron ore mining and steel production also in later stage, they felt.

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