NMDC to invest $1 billion on infrastructure, says official


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,”

he said.

“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

states. (PTI)