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Plan to secure ore for RINL

Calcutta, June 27: The steel ministry plans to make Orissa Minerals Development Company Ltd (OMDC) a subsidiary of Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) to secure iron ore mines for the public sector firm.

P.K. Bishnoi, chairman and managing director of RINL, said the government would transfer its holding in Orissa Minerals to RINL.

“It is part of the 100-day agenda of the steel ministry,” Bishnoi said on the sidelines of the 81st annual general meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

OMDC, part of the Bird group of companies, has iron ore mines in the Barbil area of Orissa. It is said to have 200 million tonnes of reserves.

Majority of OMDC’s shares is owned by another Bird group company — Eastern Investments Ltd.

OMDC is listed on the Calcutta Stock Exchange. It is a highly profitable company having manganese mines along with iron ore and sponge iron plants.

In 2008-09, OMDC reported an income of Rs 346.89 crore and a profit of Rs 181 crore. Earning per share of the highly illiquid stock is Rs 3,030.

Bishnoi said the steel ministry would also push for a merger of Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd with RINL. The earlier plan was to merge Neelachal with Steel Authority of India Ltd.

Iron ore, along with coking coal mines in India and abroad, is expected to raise RINL’s valuation.

Bishnoi said the government was yet to ask RINL to take the necessary steps to become a listed company. “We did the groundwork 3-4 years back for an IPO,” he said.

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