NMDC to open new iron mines in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka next year

Plans to boost output by 50 mtpa in 5 years

India’s top iron ore miner, State-owned National Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NMDC) is set to open and develop new iron ore mines in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka next year, a move expected to boost steel production.

As part of its expansion programme, NMDC will open a mine each in Bailadila sector in Chhattisgarh and in the Bellary-Hospet region of Karnataka in 2015, Narendra Kothari, Chairman and Managing Director, NMDC, said on the sidelines of Gujarat NRE Coke Ltd’s two-day event, Global Steel 2014, with the theme “Steeling Recovery”. The mine to be opened in the Bailadila sector in Chhattisgarh is in the Deposit-11 B Iron Ore Project while the one in Karnataka is part of the Kumaraswami Iron Ore Mines. In his key-note address at the Conference, Kothari said despite the Maoist challenge, NMDC was able to produce 65 per cent of its target last year.

By a combination of new mining facilities and expansion of existing infrastructure, NMDC plans to boost its iron ore output in the next five years from about 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 50 mtpa. In the wake of judicial interventions in Karnataka, Odisha and Goa, where the courts banned illegal mining, the company’s output was 10 mt in 2013-14, its highest-ever, he said.

With increasin g production, NMDC also plans to increase exports from about 6 per cent of its production to 10 per cent in a year or two.

About NMDC’s forays abroad, Kothari said the company has acquired coking coal assets in Mozambique and exploration is in progress for gold in the three leases acquired in Tanzania.

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