Fresh from his successful bid for Arcelor SA the world''s
second largest steel producer, steel baron Laxmi Mittal
is in India prospecting for iron ore in Orissa and Jharkand.
experts say Mittal''s mission to Orissa could have been
prompted by the world''s largest steel company''s inability
to grab a share of iron ore in the highly lucrative Chiria
mines in Jharkhand.
year Mittal had signed a memorandum of understanding with
the Jharkhand government for a 10-million tonne steel
plant. But, with the proposal not having made any headway,
Mittal may go for a similar MoU with the Orissa government
as a back up.
is also possible that Mittal is exploring the possibility
of setting up a second facility in India, a market he
has not entered so far despite his global footprint, though
his younger brothers Pramod and Vinod Mittal run an independent
steel group, Ispat Industries.
officials in Orissa, meanwhile, indicated that the state
can make available captive mines for a five MT steel plant.
his reported acquisition plans in India, Mittal said that
it is one possibility. "Who said that I am not interested?"
was his retort to a question during a press conference.
the successful takeover bid and the creation of Arcelor-Mittal
late last month, Mittal had said that the new entity would
look at India and China for future expansion. Mittal had
also hinted at reviewing progress of his joint venture
with the Indian oil major ONGC two days before his arrival.
Mittal had received considerable support from the Indian
government, particularly from commerce minister Kamal
the media. Mittal is due to meet prime minister Manmohan
Singh later to explore investment opportunities.