HYDERABAD, May 14: National Mineral Development
Corporation Limited (NMDC Ltd) is in the process of investing
about USD one billion on infrastructure in the next three
years to help ramp up iron ore production, a senior official
of the public sector undertaking has said.
Director (finance) of the company Amitava Mukherjee
said the cost of the upcoming three-million tonne capacity
steel plant would go up to Rs 19,000 crore against the
estimated over Rs 15,500 at the time of conception.
The iron ore miner has already invested nearly Rs
14,500 crore on the plant.
“The mine capacity is also being increased. We are
investing about USD one billion…The production of
steel-making would go from the current capacity of 146 million
tonnes per annum to 300 MTPA, and I see a market in future in
domestic ore consumption,” he said.
“About USD 200 millions have already been invested
in different projects. We expect all this (investment) to be
completed by 2022 to 2023,” Mukherjee told PTI.
At Bailadilla in Chhattisgarh, the company is
creating a rapid wagon-loading system for evacuation and
setting up a new slurry pipeline. It is also in the process of
doubling of railwayline between Kirundul and Kothavalasa (KK
line), he said.
The PSU is also setting up screening plants in
Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.
On the upcoming steel plant in Chhattisgarh,
Mukherjee said the company was investing Rs 2,000 crore and
its commissioning was expected before the end of this fiscal.
Mecon ( project consultant) is doing the revised
estimation. Ballpark figure of the total investment on the
plant should be between Rs 18,000 crore and Rs 19,000 crore,”
“If you compare the cost per tonne for a greenfield
project all over the world, we are at par. The cost of
production at the mining head is as good as that of the top
big players around the world,” he said.
Replying to a query, he said without production from
Donimalai mines in Karnataka, NMDC expects 31-32 million
tonnes during the current fiscal.
The miner suspended iron ore mining from its
Donimalai mine following the Karnataka governments decision
to impose 80 per cent premium on the ore sales from that mine.
NMDC, in November 2018, had moved the High Court
challenging the Karnataka government decision on imposition of
the premium on Donimalai ore.
Hoping that the court decision would come in their
favour, the NMDC official said any verdict against the company
may have a negative impact on merchant mining sector of the
entire iron ore industry as it cannot afford to absorb higher
premiums and it may set benchmark for future auction by other