Perth-based dual bulk commodity company NSL Consolidated has sold its first iron ore shipment into the domestic Indian market. This first ex-gate sale represents a significant milestone for the company in its transition to ‘producer’ status as the only foreign company to own and operate iron ore mines in India.
The construction and commissioning of the first phase of the Kurnool iron ore dry separation plant is on schedule and budget as the company finalizes optimization of the process which is capable of producing ore of up to 58% iron.
“This is a significant milestone for NSL, as we have had to overcome many challenges to become the first foreign iron ore producer in India,” says NSL managing director Cedric Goode.
“Our journey is only just commencing, as we progress through completing phases 1 and 2, to utilizing our experience and actual performance to lift NSL to its desired 1.5 million tonne per annum target by the end of 2014. This target is possible through bolt on wet and dry separation plants to increase output, together with sourcing additional ore feed through strategic acquisitions and supply agreements.”
NSL plans to ramp up production and sales tonnage towards the targeted phase 1 annual production capacity of 200,000 tonnes by September. Final commission of the dry separation circuit is scheduled by June 30.
Phase 2 is the wet beneficiation plant which is capable of producing final product grades of between 58-62% iron. It is expected to be brought into operation later this year and will increase annual production capacity to 400,000 tonnes.
Cedric Goode says domestic demand and pricing for iron ore remain particularly strong, with NSL receiving several approaches from industry players seeking to secure off-take from Kurnool.
“With the increase in funds being allocated to infrastructure projects, Indian domestic steel production is expected to increase from 77 million tonnes to 200 million tonnes by 2020. The company looks forward to making its contribution as part of this growth,” he said.
Kurnool is on an industrial site of more than 4 hectares within the south-eastern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. It uses the nearby Mangal mine as an iron source as well as the adjacent existing Kuja iron mine, both owned by NSL.
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