The National Iron Ore Mining Company (NIOMCO), located in Itakpe, Kogi, has said no less than 2.13 million tonnes of iron ore were required by Ajaokuta Steel Company to enable it to begin production.
Its Sole Administrator, Malam Abubakar Ibrahim, who disclosed this while receiving the Minister of Mines and Steel Developmet, Musa Sada at the company said that with that quantity of iron ore, the steel company would be able to produce 1.3 million tonnes of steel annually.
He, however, said that for NIOMCO to meet the iron ore need of the steel company’s first phase production, it would need to produce and process seven million tonnes of raw iron ore annually.
He also said that for the steel company to sustain uninterrupted production of steel for some years, NIOMCO needed to stockpile iron ore at its premises and at Ajaokuta.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the iron ore company to begin production of iron concentrates well ahead of commencement of production of steel by Ajaokuta Steel Company.
Ibrahim said the company would only achieve its mandate of providing the basic raw materials for iron and steel production effectively if it was well equipped.
He appealed to the Federal Government to award contract for the rehabilitation facilities in the plant.
He also called for speedy resolution of the court case between Global Infrastructure Nigeria Ltd and the Federal Government over the termination of concession agreement on NIOMCO.
He said when on stream with necessary facilities, the company could produce about 36,000 tonnes of iron ore concentrates per month.
“At that level of production, our in-house study has shown that the operating cost per tonne shall be about N7,000.
“This means that a net monthly operating income of about N228 million shall be realizsed, taking current world market concentrate price of N16,000 per tonne’’, he said.
In his remark, the minister said that the federal government was doing everything possible to see that NIOMCO resumed production.
Sada said the National Industrial Revolution Plan recently launched by the government would address the challenges of the company and help it meet its mandate.