Tata Steel arm to double ferrochrome manufacturing capacity

Tata Steel Mining Limited (TSML), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel, is planning to double its ferrochrome manufacturing capacity in India to 900,000 tonnes a year.

Analysts believe the investment to be around Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore.

“We will take both the organic and inorganic routes to augment our ferrochrome manufacturing capacity in India, leveraging the strength of the good quality of chrome ore availability,” said Sundara Ramam, Vice President Raw Materials, Tata Steel.

The idea behind the initiative is to use the chromite ore optimally to make ferrochrome and serve its growing base of Indian and global customers making stainless steel, Ramam added.

“Balasore Alloys was one of the top ferrochrome makers. With that company on a shaky ground and now with Tata Steel expanding, it will make them the biggest ferrochrome supplier,” said IQ Minerals and Metals CEO, Siddharth Bothra.

Balasore Alloys, promoted by Pramod Mittal, is facing hurdles in operating its plants. Top executives of the company have left the group citing non-payment of salaries and inoperable plants.

This move by Tata Steel could push it to the top in both local and overseas markets.

“This will make TSML the top ferrochrome player in India and among the top five globally. It makes sense to focus on value addition and convert the chrome ore to ferrochrome,” Tata Steel’s Ramam said.

Ferrochrome is a type of ferroalloy that contains chromium and iron, generally containing 50% to 70% chromium by weight. High carbon ferrochrome is used in the manufacturing of some varieties of steel as well as stainless steel.

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“Tata Steel has its own chromite mines. With international prices of chrome ore and ferrochrome rising because of export duty issues from South Africa, it makes sense for Tata Steel to improve production capacity,” said

‘s research analyst Vishal Chandak.

Tata Steel is also expanding units in Kalinganagar, and Jamshedpur, units that will need additional ferro alloys, Chandak said.

TSML had acquired three Chromite mines in the 2020 mineral auctions, namely Sukinda Chromite Mine, Saruabil Chromite Mine and Kamarda Chromite Mine, for which leases were granted for 50 years. The mines have now been operational with an annual capacity of over 1.5 million tonnes.

Tata Steel must be viewing a great opportunity in the ferrochrome market. There is also a huge export market for ferro chrome, the prices are moving up, said IQ Metal’s Bothra.

As per analysts, ferrochrome prices have firmed up by up to 50% in the last 6 months to reach around Rs 95,000 a tonne and even crossed 1 lakh in March.

TSML is a 100% subsidiary of

and is based in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is working to develop commercial mining opportunities in addition to the ferro alloys business.



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