With the recent approval of new mining law by the Afghanistan Parliament, the Steel Authority of India Ltd-led Afghan Iron and Steel Consortium (AFISCO) has decided to fast track the mega steel project entailing an investment worth $1.14 billion amounting to Rs. 7000cr. In this connection, the consortium will soon re-commence negotiations with the Afghanistan Government to set up a plant with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per annum, said Afghanistan's Deputy Minister for Mining and Petroleum, Jamil Hares, adding that the deal will soon be signed by the President very shortly. The final agreement for the project can take place after the law is passed and that the negotiations would have to reach a conclusion that is "win-win" for both AFISCO and the Afghan Government. In the AFISCO, which is a consortium of public and private sector companies from India, nearly 56% of the stake in the venture is held by SAIL, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd and NMDC, while the rest is with JSW Steel, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd and Monnet Ispat & Energy. AFISCO had won three blocks with reserves of an estimated 1.28 billion tons of high grade iron ore in the Hajigak mine and had initially planned to invest $10.8 billion to set up a 6.2-million-tonne-per-annum steel plant along with an 800 MW power plant, besides allied infrastructure.
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