JSW acquires USA coal mines, to start production in Sept

JSW acquires USA coal mines, to start production in Sept

New Delhi: JSW Steel on Friday said it has completed $100 million acquisition of coking coal assets in the US and will start production from September to partially meet the rising raw material need of its steel business.

“Following the board approval to acquire certain coking coal mining concessions in USA on 3 May, 2010, the company completed the acquisition," the company said in filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

“...It is planned to produce 1 million tonnes of coal in the first year starting from September 2010 which will go up to three million tonnes in the third year of operation," it added.

Moreover, the company said it is actively looking at acquisitions of coal mines to feed its rising steel production capacity.

The acquired coal assets with resources of 123 million tonnes are located in West Virginia in the US. These mines are owned by a string of US-based companies.

“While the total coking coal requirement of the company is estimated at 5 million tonnes per annum at the current capacity (about 6 million tonnes) the proposed coking coal from US will give integration to the extent of 20% in the first year and goes up further at enhanced capacity of 11 million tonnes to 35 per cent," it said.

“The integration will benefit the company immensely even after factoring the higher freight from USA to India," it added.

The company currently has an installed production capacity of a little over six million tonnes in Vijaynagar in Karnataka and is working to add another three million tonnes to it. It also operates a one million tonne per annum plant in Salem.

With coking coal rates hovering around $200 a tonne, up by about 50% from last year’s level, steel firms are actively scouting to acquire such mines abroad and cut input costs.