Sesa Goa buys balance 49% stake in Liberian project for $33.5 m

PTI New Delhi | Updated on December 21, 2012

Vedanta Group firm Sesa Goa today said it has acquired the remaining 49 per cent stake in Liberia’s Western Clusters project for $33.5 million (about Rs 185 crore).

“Sesa Goa has acquired the remaining 49 per cent of the outstanding common shares of Western Cluster Ltd (WSL) from Elenilto Minerals & Mining LLC Delaware, for a cash consideration of $33.5 million,” the company said.

Post this transaction, Sesa’s shareholding in WCL rose to 100 per cent. The company had acquired 51 per cent stake in WCL for about $90 million (about Rs 411 crore) last year.

“WCL is a logical and strategic fit with Sesa’s existing iron ore business and is expected to create significant long-term value for all stakeholders,” the company said in the filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

It added that at WCL, exploration activities are progressing well, with over 42,000 m of drilling completed till November 30, 2012.

The project is on track for first shipment in FY14, it said.

Last month, the company had said it will finalise the capital expenditure plan for first phase of its Liberia iron ore mining project by January.

The company is aiming to produce 10 million tonnes of iron ore per annum in the first phase from WCL.

Sesa Goa’s Managing Director P.K. Mukherjee last month had said the company completed over 31,000 m of drilling at the project site and first shipment from the project will be delivered in 2013-14 as announced earlier.

On the back of higher-than-estimated iron ore reserves of 1 billion tonnes, the Goa-based miner also has plans to ramp up the production by up to 30 MT in the second phase, which is expected to begin by 2016-17.

The company had begun exploration of the asset during April-May and had said that it would be spending about Rs 400-450 crore on the project this year. The investments would be made largely on payments to the local government, exploration, equipment and other related studies for the project.

During the last quarter, the iron ore miner’s net sales, at Rs 294 crore, had gone down sharply due to a host of reasons, including a ban on mining in Goa and slump in iron ore prices.

However, it had reported a better-than-expected net profit at Rs 522 crore, largely due to Rs 464.63 crore profit for its 20 per cent holding in associate firm, Cairn India.

Seas Goa shares ended down at Rs 194.45, down 2.46 per cent on the BSE.

Published on December 21, 2012

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