Sesa Sterlite said on Friday it was carrying out a feasibility study for setting up a steel plant in Karnataka even as it sees lots of opportunities to improve and strengthen its iron ore business in the world's fourth-largest steel- making nation.
"We are doing feasibility study to asess ...what will be the right size, configuration and what will be the product mix," company CEO Tom Albanese told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by Assocham.
The plan to foray into steel sector of India, which aims to treble its capacity to 300 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) by 2015, falls under the long-term plan of the company which does not confine itself to just iron ore mining, he said.
A source in the company had earlier said that the NRI billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Sesa Sterlite was mulling a 5 million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel mill in Karnataka, which may roughly entail an investment of Rs 30,000 crore.
India's largest iron ore producer and maker of various non-ferrous metals such as aluminium and zinc, Sesa Sterlite had in 2011 acquired the assets of Bellary Steel and Alloys (BSAL) for Rs 220 crore through a competitive bidding process.
Iron ore is one of the key input for steel-making.
Asked if the company would look forward to acquiring iron ore assets abroad as global prices of the raw material had come down, he said, "We want to become bigger iron ore producer in India and primarily serving its steel sector. I see great opportunity to strengthen and develop further in the Indian iron ore sector."
The Supreme Court has recently approved mining resumption in Goa with some riders.
To a question on the likely date for reopening the mines, he said the company would "like to see mining resuming in Goa at the end of the monsoon season...We look forward to the resumption of mining."
Earlier speaking at the conference, he said, "Auctions of mining rights appears to be the most preferred route that would be transparent and lead to fair award, with the possibility of early mining and availability of minerals."
"This idea has some merit in areas that are well understood with keen contest by multiple applicants," he added.