State-owned NMDC Limited is awaiting cabinet decision to conduct due diligence to acquire a minority stake in a Tungsten Mine in Vietnam, a senior official of the miner said here today.
PK Satpathy, Director (production) said the Ministry of Steel is in process of preparing a note to the cabinet and further process starts only after the Government's nod.
He also said the PSU fixed a target to produce 35 million tonnes of iron ore during the current fiscal and will tentatively invest about Rs 2,500 crore towards capex including for the steel plant that is coming up in Nargarnar, Chhattisgarh.
"Teams from NMDC and Midhani have gone and visited the tungsten mine in Vietnam. We have sent proposal to the Ministry of Steel. Since we are a PSU we need cabinet approval for conducting due diligence. I am not sure when the cabinet takes up this issues. We will appoint an agency for conducting due diligence only after the cabinet approval," Satpathy told reporters on the sidelines of an event.
He indicated that, if everything goes as planned, NMDC may acquire a minority stake in the Vietnamese mine.
A senior official had earlier said NMDC was in discussions with Vietnam-based Masan Resources to acquire some stake in it's Nui Phao polymetallic mine with rich tungsten mineral, located in Thai Nguyen province in Northern Vietnam.
Currently India imports tungsten for its domestic requirements due to higher production cost.
NMDC and defence products manufacturing PSU Midhani signed MoU in October last year to explore suitable tungsten assets in India and abroad for investment as well as development of technologies for converting tungsten ore to Ammonium Para Tungstate.
Satpathy said India needs about 250 to 300 tonnes per annum of Ammonium Para Tungstate for strategic purposes and there is no mining of the metal in the country after closure of a mine in Rajasthan that was producing.
To a query, he said the miner is aiming to produce 35 million tonnes of iron ore during the current year. It achieved production of 34 million tonnes and sales of 35.6.
million tonnes during the last fiscal which is the highest ever achieved since inception of the company.
He said the production depends on market and other conditions.