Consolidation to meet the ambitious growth plans
To enable Tata Steel to achieve its goals, Metso has provided its Life Cycle Services solution to two mining sites, Katamati and Khondbond. This has allowed Tata Steel to reduce risks and concentrate on its steel production while Metso will ensure that it’s mine site machinery is always available and producing enough ore to meet the growing demand from the nearby plants.
With the growing global steel demand, Tata Steel has to increase production capacity at its Jamshedpur plant from 6.8 to 10 million tonnes per year, while targeting 8 million tonnes per year from the Kalinganagar plant. To feed the demand from the plants, iron ore production at nearby Khondbond and Katamati mine sites had to be grown significantly. In addition to the vast increase in throughput required, there were also challenges in meeting high safety requirements, community related issues, and meeting its production goals in the most environmentally sound way. Keeping the future requirements in mind, Tata Steel considered options to consolidate all production with a major OEM supplier capable of handling all aspects of production, for the company to concentrate on its core business of producing steel.
“Initially, before making this contract for Noamundi (Katamati), we thought that we require a partner who can supply the total package. A partner with good expertise, taking care of the site-specific challenges, particularly safety, connecting with the community and handling the process in an environmentally friendly manner”, stated RP Mali, Chief of Noamundi and Katamati Iron Mine at Tata Steel. Another key technical issue at both the mine sites was the need to produce a different mix of end products as Khondbond site was slated to produce a mixture of lumps and fines, while Katamati’s mandate was changed to produce mainly fines. This would have required setting-up of a second circuit to meet the changing requirements. Another factor complicating the production process was different quality of the feed material used at both sites, with Khondbond being fed primarily with hard ore and the Katamati site having more blue dust and softer ores.