Mumbai: Tata Steel Ltd and Ivory Coast's state-owned company for mineral development, SODEMI, have sign a joint venture agreement to develop jointly iron ore deposits at Mount Nimba, in the West African country.
The project will be implemented by a joint venture company in which Tata Steel will have a major shareholding.
"Ivory Coast is very happy to have identified Tata Steel as its partner for this mega project in iron ore, said Ivory Coast's minister of mines and energy Monnet Emmanuel Leon. ''It is a very major step towards development of the country and will improve lives of people in many ways. We are quite convinced that Tatas have the technical and financial capability along with the experience to undertake this project to its successful implementation."
Jean Likane Yagui, managing director of SODEMI, said, "Together with Tata Steel, we are writing a new chapter in the history of Ivory Coast today".
"Tata Steel is very pleased to have signed this Agreement,'' said B Muthuraman, managing director, Tata Steel. ''Tata Steel has vast experience of mining, spanning over several decades and will be introducing best practices for mining geology environment and project management.
''It is Tata's philosophy to participate and be a part of a country's development process and Tata Steel, through its well known social initiatives will make a positive impact on improving the quality of life of the people of Ivory Coast. We value our partnership with SODEMI and the government of Ivory Coast and we are sure that this partnership will go from strength to strength in the years to come and help the Country gain its rightful position in the mining sector."
The initial phase will involve exploration and detailed feasibility assessments followed by construction of the mine and beneficiation facilities. The iron ore from this project will be supplied to Tata Steel group facilities especially those located in the United Kingdom and Netherlands. The Mt Nimba deposit, spread across three countries -Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast - is one of the biggest in the West Africa."