SAIL to develop coal, iron ore deposits in Mongolia

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) plans to develop coal and iron ore deposits in Mongolia in collaboration with the local government, in a bid to ease India's persisting coal shortfall.

SAIL today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Mongolian ministry of mineral resource and energy (MMRE) to explore business opportunities in the mining and steel sector. The MoU will enable SAIL to acquire a coking coal mine in coal-rich Mongolia.

The Mongolian ministry will provide information on iron ore and coal deposits, including location and size, upon which SAIL will undertake a pre-feasibility study, SAIL said in release.

MMRE and SAIL will also jointly take up a pre-feasibility study for setting up a mineral processing facility for iron ore and coal, both coking and thermal, in Mongolia. The two parties will also undertake construction of downstream steel plants both for local consumption and exports.

The MoU envisages investments by SAIL either solely or in a consortium with other entities to develop mineral processing/ steel manufacturing facility in Mongolia, the statement said.

SAIL said it would select the best available technology to treat Mongolian iron ore and coal deposits based on the feasibility study.