Tata Steel to invest in expansion of production at Carborough Downs coal mine in Australia

Jamshedpur: Tata Steel along with Japan's Nippon Steel Corporation, South Korea's POSCO, JFE Steel and JFE Shoji have agreed to callaborate with Brazillian mining giant Vale on scale expansion of its Carborough Downs Coal Mine near Moranbah in Central Queensland in Australia, in which they have a minority ownership.

Carborough Downs is an underground mine operated by Carborough Downs Coal Management Pty Ltd with Vale owning an 80-per cent stake in it. Its development joint venture are Tata Steel, Nippon Steel  and POSCO each have a 5-per  cent stake in it wiith JFE Steel and JFE Shoji owning 2.5 per cent each.

This investment shall ensure 4.9 million tonnes of annual production of ROM to yield 3.7 million tonnes of coking coal and PCI coal from the 3rd Quarter of 2009.

Tata Steel's decision to opt for a stake in the Australian mine was dictated by its strategy of developing raw material security for its global steel businesses. The investment on expansion of production at the Carborough Down Coal Mine in Australia gives Tata Steel an opportunity to explore larger areas for coal deposits which that will be a potential source to meet a part of its raw material requirement and enhance the long-term competitiveness of its global operations. Tata Steel already has vast experience of mining, spanning over several decades and this expansion will be a chance to ensure best practices for mining geology environment and project management. 

The investment required to expnad minig at Carborough downs is estimated at A$401 million, with construction scheduled for May 2008 and commissioning of the large scale and new mining Longwall equipment, which will be one of the largest in Australia, expected by mid 2009.

Carborough Downs Coal Mine started its production in August 2006 as one of the new coking coal projects in the Queensland, Australia. Since commencement of the production, while continuing its underground operation on a small scale, Carborough Downs JV has studied the development option by Longwall method toward larger scale operation.

Tata Steel is the flagship company of Tata Group, which has 98 operating companies in seven business sectors. The 139 year old Group is India's largest employer in the private sector and one of the country's most respected business conglomerates. Tata Steel, established in 1907, Asia's first and India's largest integrated private sector steel producer is the world's 6th largest steel producer. With the recent acquisition of Corus, the combined enterprise has a total crude steel production capacity of around 28.1 million tonnes and over 82,000 employees across four continents. Tata Steel has operations in 24 countries and is the second most globally diversified steel group.