ArcelorMittal Gets Permit to Mine Iron Ore in East India State

June 9, 2008

June 9th (Bloomberg) – ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, secured a permit to mine iron ore needed for a planned project in the eastern Jharkhand state almost three years after the company announced the $10 billion venture.

The permit allows Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal to mine 500 acres of land in Jharkhand, according to a statement today on the Ministry of Mines Web site. The eastern state holds 17 percent of India’s iron ore reserves.

Land disputes and bureaucratic delays faced by steelmakers in India underscore the growing gap with China, the fastest- growing major economy, and India, the second-fastest. India may have produced 55.5 million metric tons of steel in the year ended March, about a tenth of China’s output, according to government estimates.

The ArcelorMittal plant in Jharkhand, announced in October 2005, would have capacity of 12 million tons a year. In 2006 the company announced a similar sized project in neighboring Orissa.

The Indian states Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh account for 70 percent of the nation’s coal reserves and 55 percent of its iron ore, according to McKinsey & Co.

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