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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Essar's ore reserves in Minnesota estimated at 1.77 bn tonnes

Thu, Jan05, 2012

NEW DELHI: Essar Group today said it has emerged as a leading iron ore reserves owner in North America with confirmation that its Minnesota Project contains 1.77 billion tonnes of reserves.

"ESML... has reserves of 1.77 billion metric tonnes, with a grading of 31.78 per cent total iron, along with inferred mineral reserves and resources estimated at 201 million metric tonnes, making it a leading iron ore resource party in the North American Basin," the company said in a statement.

Essar Steel Minnesota LLC (ESML), a private resources company engaged in the development and mining of iron ore, is a part of the Ruias-led USD 17 billion Essar Group.

The company said the reserves were "confirmed by the National Instrument 43-101 Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves Report by Met-Chem Canada, an internationally renowned consulting engineering firm providing all phases of geology, mining, mineral processing and engineering services."

ESML President and CEO Madhu Vuppuluri said the findings of about two billion tonnes of resources at the project exceeded company's expectations, adding that 95 per cent of the total measured and indicated resources are made up of mineral reserves.

"We believe that our project contains sufficient reserves and resources not only to increase the planned production of iron ore pellets from 4.1 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes (MT) annually, but also will enable us to evaluate options to further utilise our increased mineral resources," he said.

ESML's project is a taconite iron ore project located at Nashwauk, Minnesota, in the western part of the Mesabi Range, covering an area of approximately 19,200 acres.

"All permits for the construction and production of 4.1 MT of iron ore pellets annually have been received. Applications have been filed for a second phase expansion to add additional 2.9 MT of iron ore pellets production annually, bringing the annual capacity to 7 MT," the statement said.

Phase I construction of the iron ore mine, crushing facilities, concentrator and pellet plant commenced in October, 2010.

(sourced ET)

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