Tata Steel floats JV with Ivory Coast
TATA Steel is likely to invest $1-1.5 billion over the next three years to develop Mount Nimba Iron ore deposit in Ivory Coast. The largest private sector Indian steel company has picked up a 75% stake in a joint venture on Tuesday. Sodemi, a state-owned mining company of Ivory Coast, will hold the remaining 25% stake in the JV company. The move indicates Tata Steel’s determined bid to secure raw material linkages post acquisition of Corus Group.“We have formed a joint venture company with Sodemi and the government of Ivory Coast. We will have a holding of 75% while Sodemi will have the remaining share in the proposed company. The mining rights will rest with the JV company,” Tata Steel managing director, B Muthuraman said in a conference call from Abidjan shortly after signing the agreement on Tuesday. The investment in West Africa comes close on the heels of Tata Steel’s acquisition of 35% stake in a coal mine in Mozambique in joint venture with Riversdale Mining of Australia. “Tata Steel would continue to look for strategic partnerships and strive to achieve 60-70% raw material security in the next five to six years,” Mr Muthuraman said. Mount Nimba deposit, spread over Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast, is one of the biggest iron ore deposits in West Africa