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MOIL invites bids to form JVs for acquisitions abroad
December, 29th 2010

Eyeing properties overseas to meet the growing domestic demand for manganese ore, which is pegged to touch 4.5 million tonnes by 2012, the state-owned MOIL has invited bids from global firms to form JVs for such acquisitions.

"... MOIL invites proposals on ... investment opportunities primarily for Manganese Ore and other minerals both within India and globally," the company said.

The PSU is also eyeing in domestic markets for its capacity expansion. It also invited proposals from owners of mineral concessions for participation with MOIL in development of their resources.

The tie-up, the miniratna firm said, would be for supply of manganese ore to domestic ferro alloy manufacturers besides developing new and existing mines. The expression of interest would close on January 31, 2011.

Manganese Ore India Ltd (MOIL), which mopped up over Rs 1,000 crore through its initial public offer, which was subscribed times last month, has already announced that it is looking at acquisitions in South Africa, Turkey and Congo to meet ore demand.

The demand for manganese ore is pegged to touch 4.5 million tonnes (MT) from present 2.4 MT in 2012 if the target for enhancing steel production capacity to 120 MT is met. The company is exploring opportunities in South Africa with NMDC , which is India's largest iron ore producer.

Besides manganese, MOIL is also eying nickel and chromite properties abroad. Manganese ore is a key ingredient for producing steel and about 30 kg of ore is required to produce a tonne of steel. The country's steel output is likely to increase to 120 MT by 2012 from about 70 MT at present, resulting in the need for about 4.5 MT of manganese ore.

MOIL at present meets 50 per cent of the domestic requirement of the ore and plans to ramp up production within the country to 1.5 million tonnes from the existing 1.1 million tonnes by 2015 through an investment of Rs 768 crore.

The company is also in the process of expanding its domestic ore reserves and plans to carry out about 50,000 metres of exploratory activities in 814 hectares of land adjacent to its existing reserves in Bhandara and Nagpur, which has been reserved for it by the Maharashtra government.

MOIL is also setting up two ferro-alloy plants under joint ventures with SAIL and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd at a total investment of Rs 150 crore. It operates 10 mines, six in Maharashtra and four in Madhya Pradesh, out of which seven are underground and three are open cast mines.

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