Company: MINERAL DEPOSITS LIMITED
MINERAL DEPOSITS LIMITED DIVERSIFIES INTO INDIA
In the late 1990’s, Mineral Deposits Limited, MDL, a junior Melbourne based Australian mining company, which operates the Hawk’s Nest mineral sands project in NSW, began developing two major mineral sands deposits in Tamil Nadu in the south of India.
In February 1999, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board approved MDL’s application to develop the Tamil Nadu deposits. Due to the financial size of the projects, over US$100 million, it required Cabinet level approval; MDL obtained this in November 1999. In March 2000, MDL tied up its company structure for the projects, holding 72 per cent and 74 per cent stakes in the two projects, with the balance held by a variety of Indian public and private sector interests.
Since March 2000, MDL has been seeking approval to finalise these projects. In late 2000, it signed a memorandum of understanding with diversified South African resource group, Iscor Limited, forming a strategic partnership in developing the projects. It expects to commence these projects by 2003, with the first ore to be mined in 2005.
MDL stresses good bureaucratic relations are essential for advancing a mining project of this magnitude; without such contacts, progress becomes more difficult. Being patient and building company understanding of the Indian bureaucracy are important. Looking ahead, MDL considers the prospects for mining development to be excellent, with strong infrastructure links nearby, good staff and very encouraging mineral assays to support the project going forward.
Source: Mineral Deposits Limited, 2001.