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India's Tata Steel has announced that it plans to start mining at its Bonglo iron ore project in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016
According to weekly magazine India Today, Tata Steel director general for Côte d’Ivoire, Mukesh Rajan, said that the company would produce about 20mn tonnes of iron ore from the project, which is situated about 500km from Abidjan.
“The company is conducting feasibility studies of the project, which would be followed by construction of facilities at the mine,” added Rajan. The iron ore from the project is likely to be supplied to Tata Steel's units located in the UK and Netherlands.
In 2007, Tata Steel and the Ivorian state-owned mineral development company SODEMI signed a joint venture agreement to develop the Mount Nimba iron ore deposits, which are spread across Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and the Republic of Guinea. Tata Steel has a 75 per cent stake in the project.
Tata Steel also operates in Mozambique where it has coal mines and has set up a ferrochrome manufacturing facility in South Africa.
In Mozambique, the Benga Coal Project, in which Tata Steel has a 35 per cent stake, has been estimated to produce 5.3mn tonnes of coal per annum. The coking coal derived from this is supplied to Tata Steel's facilities in Europe and Asia, India Today reported.