India’s Financial Express reports the board of the government-owned steel major had agreed in principle to form these two joint ventures to ensure coking coal and iron ore supply to its four integrated steel plants at Bhilai, Bokaro, Durgapur and Rourkela along with its wholly-owned subsidiary Indian Iron & Steel Company (Iisco).
This will allow the Indian producer to increase hot metal production from 12.7Mt to 20mt by 2012.
The newspaper reported BHPB has agreed to form a joint venture with SAIL for mining coal in Australia but only if BHPB was included as a partner in another joint venture mining iron ore at Chiria in Jharkhand.
The SAIL official said that BHPB had offered SAIL 20% stake in the coal JV. BHPB had proposed 50:50 partnership with SAIL in the iron ore venture and has agreed to pump in funds and modern mining equipment.
BHP has proposed providing financial and technical support to SAIL for setting up new coke oven batteries which SAIL needs to embark on its proposed capacity enhancement.
There was no mention of the deal on the BHPB website.