While Samsung, Smithbridge Help GVK's Coal Project, Rio Tinto Targets Odisha

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Continued from Part One.

Samsung C&T will provide the bulk of the steel and supply ship-loaders from Korea and other countries, while Smithbridge will be responsible for engineering, marine works and providing local Australian expertise.

The development of GVK’s Terminal 3 at the port of Abbot Point, according to a report, was recently given the clearance by the Australian government. GVK had acquired the Australian coal mine in Queensland with 8 billion tons of reserves for US $1.26 billion from Hancock Coal Pty Ltd. The first phase includes developing a 30-million-ton-per-year mine, 500 kilometers of railway line and a 60-million-ton-per-year port.

On a different note, Indian newspapers reported that Australian mining major Rio Tinto also expressed its hope of reviving its US $2 billion joint venture with the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).

According to a report in The Business Standard, the Australian High Commissioner Peter N. Varghese and Sam Walsh, chief executive of iron ore at Rio Tinto, had sought appointments with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary BK Patnaik to hold discussions on the issue.

Rio Tinto had gotten into a joint venture with OMC in 1995 to develop two iron ore deposits in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts with a mining capacity of 25 million tons a year. But nothing had happened after that for various reasons. Recently, the OMC had issued a statement saying it was no longer keen on the project.

In an interview to Business Standard, Rio Tinto CEO Walsh said his company was “in India to stay.”

He said Rio Tinto was engaging with the local community and with the state and federal governments, and was hopeful that the project would ultimately be cleared.

Sohrab Darabshaw contributes an Indian perspective to MetalMiner.

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