JSW Steel Ltd has signed a joint venture agreement with Minera Santa Fe of Chile controlled by Leonardo Farkas Klein, a local businessman. The joint venture company will develop iron ore mines and other projects in South America including Chile. JSW Steel holds a majority stake of 70 per cent through its Netherlands-based subsidiaryin this venture.
The joint venture holds iron ore exploration and exploitation concessions on a large area of over 26,000 hectares in Belavista and Vinita mines located in Atacama region in North Chile.
Leonardo Farkas Klein says the initial aero magnetic survey over the entire target area and geological studies supplemented by exploratory drilling carried out in a part of Belavista mine indicate large insitu magnetite iron ore deposits. The joint venture also has right to use Punta Caleta Terminal in Caldera for export of iron ore and also applied for a concession to develop new Port for two berths suitable to handle Super Capsize and Panamax vessels. These mines are located just 50 to 70 km from the Caldera region where the ports are located.
Sajjan Jindal says that he is planning to invest around $500 million in this venture including for the development of a new port capable of handling Super Capsize and Panamax size ships and start mining in the next 18 months.
Jindal ssaid that the business plan for these mines envisages creating a 4 MTPA capacity for saleable high grade sinter feed quality iron ore in the next 12 to 18 months and simultaneously to enhance this to 20 MTPA over three to four years.