Top Indian Iron Ore Miner Targets 50% Output Jump Next Year – by Swansy Afonso (Financial Post/Bloomberg News – February 12, 2020)

(Bloomberg) — India’s biggest iron ore miner plans to raise production by as much as 50%, potentially boosting supplies and alleviating concerns of shortages of the key raw material.

State-run NMDC Ltd. is targeting production of 48 million tons in the year starting April, and will surpass 32 million tons this year, Amitava Mukherjee, director of finance, said.

The growth in supplies will come mainly from its mines in Chhattisgarh and includes 7 million tons of iron ore from the Donimalai mine in Karnataka state that is currently closed.

The company is “positive” on restarting the Donimalai mine, Mukherjee said in a phone interview. The Karnataka government withdrew the lease for Donimalai in November 2018 after NMDC denied higher royalties from profits demanded by the state.

In October, the federal government tweaked mining rules to make the renewal of mining leases belonging to state-run companies mandatory without going through the auction process. While the matter is now pending with a Mines Tribunal, the new rules favor NMDC.

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