Meet on Bolivia iron ore contract

Meet on Bolivia iron ore contract

Jindal Steel & Power (JSPL) officials will meet representatives of the Bolivian government to discuss details of the exploitation contract for El Mutun iron field in that country.

Last year, JSPL had bagged the development rights of 20 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves at the mines in Bolivia.

The El Mutun mines are one of the largest in the world with an estimated 40 billion tonnes of iron ore reserves. JSPL, however, suffered a setback when the government alleged that the company was rejecting some of the clauses in the contract. Further, the Bolivian government was also not keen to subsidise natural gas, as sought by JSPL.

It is believed that the meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, will look into the price of natural gas and other issues that has led to a setback by JSPL. Reports say if the negotiations fail, the Bolivian government will look at other alternatives. These include bringing in new partners.

There are unconfirmed speculations that Tata Steel may be interested in the mines. The El Mutun mines could become crucial for the Tatas following their acquisition of Corus Group Plc.

JSPL had announced investment worth $2.3 billion over the next decade for mining and setting up a steel plant in the South American country. Naveen Jindal, who heads the company, planned to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Bolivia for this purpose.


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