Australian iron ore developer NSL Consolidated says its Kurnool iron ore beneficiation plant under construction in southeast India is on schedule for commissioning this quarter, delivering maiden revenue in coming weeks.
The dual bulk commodity developer has erected all the main plant items for phase one of the Kurnool operation, with commissioning of the individual equipment components under way. The first phase of the facility comprises a conventional crushing, screening and dry separation plant.
Kurnool is in the state of Andhra Pradesh on a 12 acre industrial site which also hosts the company’s Mangal and Kuja mines.
Mangal mine start-up has started in preparation to produce the first mainstream ore deliveries for sustained plant feedstock to Kurnool once commissioning moves to steady state production. NSL has also started the process of transferring Mangal stockpiles to the stockyard for use as beneficiation plant feedstock.
The first phase is expected to result in production at an annual rate of 200,000 tonnes while progress on the second phase wet beneficiation plant, also with annual capacity of 200,000 tonnes, is on schedule to be brought into operation later this year.
Work continues to determine the potential to increase the Kurnool stockyard production rate over and above the targeted annual rate of 200,000 tonnes with the incorporation of phase one & two production.
NSL is the only foreign company to own and operate iron ore mines in India. This first mover position was reinforced last week with Rio Tinto’s announcement to invest $2 billion into India’s significant iron ore industry.
NSL’s managing director Cedric Goode says, “The Cuddapah basin where the Kuja and Mangal projects are located has been assessed by NSL to contain significant amounts of low grade iron ore. There are numerous mines which sell their high grade ore domestically, however these mines have no market for the low grade ore.
“This is the niche that NSL intends to fill with the introduction of technology for beneficiation. Successful construction and commissioning of the Kurnool plant will open up a number of additional strategic opportunities to increase cash flow from our Indian operations, either through complementary assets and/or third party ore treatment,” he says.