Vedanta group firm Sesa Goa will finalise the capital expenditure plan for first phase of its Liberia iron ore mining project by January, a top company official said.
The company is aiming to produce 10 million tonnes of iron ore per annum in the first phase from Liberia's Western Clusters project, in which it had acquired 51 per cent stake for about USD 90 million (about Rs 411 crore) last year.
"Reserves (at Liberia) are much more than what we had anticipated earlier. Hopefully, by January we will be finalising the capex for the first phase (of mining)," said Sesa Goa's Managing Director P K Mukherjee.
He added that the company has completed over 31,000 metres of drilling at the project site and first shipment from the project will be delivered in 2013-13 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.
According to Mukherjee, this year's money is only part of the capex and the full capex would take into account investments required for the other years of phase-I as well.
During the last quarter, the iron ore miner's net sales, at Rs 294 crore, had gone down sharply due to 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.