Steel Authority of India and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) have signed a memorandum of understanding for a 50:50 joint venture to develop a limestone mine at Arki in Himachal Pradesh, India.

The Arki mine, located in the Solan district, contains nearly 100 million tonnes of limestone.

Under the joint venture, the mine will be developed to annually generate three million tonnes of limestone, which will include one million tonnes for lumps and two million for fines.

The companies will use the low-silica limestone lumps as flux for steel making while the fines will be sold in the market.

The limestone mine development will help SAIL in its long-term plan to have secure raw materials supplies, while NDMC will have an assured purchaser for its product.

The joint venture will help stimulate growth of the domestic sector and peripheral development.