Vedanta Group's Gen Z in JV with Australian firm to make mining products

Agarwal claimed that Runaya will be the first company to manufacture these products for Indian miners, who are importing them so far. It's an example of Atmanirbhar Bharat,
Runaya, a metals start-up founded by the sons of Vedanta Ltd Vice-chairman Navin Agarwal, has signed a joint venture (JV) pact with Minova, a wholly-owned division of Australia-based Orica, to manufacture niche products for the mining sector.

The start-up, founded by Naivedya Agarwal and Annanya Agarwal, and its Australian partner have floated a joint venture company Minova Runaya Pvt Ltd (MRPL), in which Runaya will hold 49 per cent stake. The JV partner Minova's parent Orica is the global leader in mining support systems and explosives with revenue of Australian $6 billion (Rs 32,000 crore).

Speaking to Business Standard, Naivedya Agarwal, Chairman, Minova Runaya Pvt Ltd (MRPL) said the JV has earmarked around Rs 250 crore to set up a manufacturing facility at Bhilwara in Rajasthan. Production is expected to start in December or January and the project will give jobs to around 2,000 people directly and indirectly.

During phase-I, the JV will be investing around Rs 100 crore, which would generate around Rs 450 crore in the next two years, said Agarwal. He expects around 50 per cent of the revenue would come from the export market.

The facility will manufacture products including rock bolts, resin capsules, injection chemicals, wire mesh and high-quality ventilation systems for both domestic and export markets. Nearly 50 per cent of the production will be for export markets.

Agarwal claimed that Runaya will be the first company to manufacture these products for Indian miners, who are importing them so far. It's an example of Atmanirbhar Bharat, he added.

He estimates the global market for these products at around $3 billion and the domestic demand of Rs 500-600 crore. Of this, around Rs 250-300 crore would be from Hindustan Zinc, a Vedanta Group company.

The other potential customers are Coal India, Ministry of Highways (for tunnels), and Larsen & Toubro among others.

Agarwal said, going forward the JV will explore manufacturing other products in the Minova's portfolio in India.

JV partner Minova provides ground support systems for the mining, construction and energy industries. Operating in over 40 countries with 15 manufacturing plants it offers innovative ground support products and solutions, including steel rock bolts, self-drilling anchors, resin capsules, injection chemicals, bulk and capsule grouts, cementitious powders, bolting and ventilation systems.

At its end, Runaya is working with other foreign partners for aluminium recovery from aluminium dross, minor metal recovery in the zinc value chain - extracting and refining 100 per cent cadmium (and other minor metals) from zinc waste and fibre reinforced plastic, of which it makes 1 million km.

Agarwal said that the company is still looking for partners related to production of high technology aluminium paste and powder in India and sustainable waste management solutions to aluminium industry.

In 2017, the company had signed two JVs worth $75 million with Russia’s UC Rusal and Bahrain’s Taha International Corporation (TIC). But the project did not take off due to sanctions against Russia and Rusal's name was on the list. While JV with Rusal is called off, the agreement with TIC is still live.

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