Bhubaneswar: Anglo Australian mining major Rio Tinto is keen to revive its 17-year old joint venture valued at an estimated Rs 11,000 crore with the state-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), official sources said.
Australian High Commissioner Peter Varghese who is scheduled to arrive in Bhubaneswar during his three day visit to Odisha, has sought an appointment with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary B K Patnaik. He is likely to meet the Chief Minister today.
However, the OMC does not appear enthusiastic. OMC CMD Saswat Mishra had said recently that OMC was not interested to revive the joint venture with the Australian company as it was not lucrative.
It is noteworthy to mention that the two companies had entered into a joint venture on 24 February 1995 to develop the Gandhamardhan and Malangtoli iron ore deposits located in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts in Odisha.
However, the project had run into rough weather due to intractable differences between the two. While Rio Tinto was keen to export half of the iron ore mined, OMC emphasised on meeting raw material needs of local industries.
Later a legal battle ensued, wherein the OMC lobbied the Orissa High Court in 2003 to cancel the deal.
Source: 360 NS