Tata Steel to invest Rs1,350 crore in Canadian JV for iron ore supplies

Tata Steel has decided to exercise its option to acquire an 80-per cent stake in its iron ore joint venture with Canada's New Millennium Capital (NML) in order to secure the ore required for making steel for its European operations at Corus Steel.

Tata Steel yesterday agreed to exercise its option to acquire an 80 per cent interest in its JV with Calgary, Alberta-based NML's Schefferville Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) Project by paying NML C$300 million (Rs1,350 crore) of capital costs for the project to take 100 per cent of the iron ore from the project at world market prices, for the life of the mining operation.

The steel maker will also reimburse NML 80 per cent of the cost incurred to date on the project.

The DSO project has the capacity to produce 4 million dry tonnes per year of iron ore starting in 2012 and Tata Steel, the world's seventh-largest steel maker will ship the ore to its European arm Corus, which has plants in the Netherlands and the UK.

NML, a publicly-owned company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, controls the emerging Millennium Iron Range, located in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and in the Province of Quebec, which holds one of the world's largest undeveloped magnetic iron ore deposits.

The Canadian miner owns 80 per cent of the mine that is estimated to have reserves of around 100 million tonnes. The DSO project includes several deposits in Quebec and Labrador near Schefferville.