International diversified resources company Astra Resources is moving closer to finalizing acquisition of two iron ore mines in the eastern state of Orissa. The mines have existing mining leases in place and Astra is renewing mining licences covering both sites.
The company’s chief executive officer Jaydeep Biswas says the first of the two sites is a 26.7 hectare non-forest mine with an estimated 40 million tonne resource which has been producing high-grade iron ore of 62-65% iron. “The mine is 158km from Halida port, only a short distance from the rail line, ensuring smooth logistic connectivity.
“Astra will begin the process of submitting the mining plan and environmental impact study, both of which are mandatory steps to ramp up the production on a larger scale. The acquisition terms of the first mine will have no effect on the Astra capital structure or profit and loss,” he says.
The second mine, which covers an area greater than 240 hectares, is in the Keonjhar district of Orissa and has very high grade iron ore reserves. Astra’s managing director Silvana De Cianni says the second mine is also in the process of renewing its mining licence and the company will complete an environmental impact study on the site.
“A detailed mining plan is to follow, along with JORC-compliant drill data. Expected reserves are well over 500 million tonnes with a grade of 63%+ iron. The large reserves present on this site will be assessed by internationally qualified geologists to evaluate whether any additional capital investment in mining expansion is required. Their findings will contribute to the JORC compliant mining report,” she says.
Logistics will not be a concern at this property, as there is a rail line in the vicinity. Both acquisitions are awaiting final due diligence and valuation/geologists reports.
Astra’s global portfolio includes gold interests in South East Asia, a coal mine in Africa, iron ore in India and the Philippines, carbon efficient and commodity businesses, the production of the high-strength T-Steel technology and clean coal technology.