New Delhi - Tata Steel-promoted Tata Metaliks has received the Centre's approval for a prospecting license of iron ore mines in Maharashtra.
The country's largest pig iron producer with an annual capacity of 6.5 lakh tonnes has been allotted the prospecting license (PL) for 154.8 hectares at Dongarpal-Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, a senior official in the Mines Ministry said.
Prospecting is the process by which companies assess the quality and quantity of minerals. Post-prospecting, the allottees apply for mining lease of the prospected area from the government.
Tata Metaliks has a plant each at Kharagpur in West Bengal and Redi in Maharashtra with a combined annual capacity of 6.5 lakh tonnes of pig iron, which is used by foundry industry and also for steel-making.
In case, the Tata company gets the mining lease of the prospected mines in Maharashtra, it would utilise the iron ore for its plant at Redi, a Tata Metaliks official said.
Tata Metaliks is in the process of setting up a 60-lakh- tonne sinter plant at Kharagpur. In Karnataka it has received the state government's go-ahead for setting up an iron and steel plant in Haveri district.
The proposed sinter plant is expected to commission by March 2010 while the time-frame for the steel plant is not yet decided. For the sinter project, the company has roped in TCE Consulting Engineers Private Ltd as the consultant.
The use of sinter in blast furnace will help the company in utilisation of iron ore fines and other waste materials, Tata Metaliks said on its website.