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India's NMDC to hike Kumaraswamy iron ore output to 10 mil mt/year by 2022

Singapore — India's Ministry of Mines has approved a plan by state-run National Mineral Development Corp. to boost iron production from the Kumaraswamy mines in Karnataka by 42.8% to 10 million mt/year, the state-run miner said late Wednesday, giving a boost to its domestic production.

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The expansion is scheduled to occur over 2020-2021 and 2021-2022, boosting Kumaraswamy's current output of 7 million mt/year, NMDC said.

The approval comes after the Chhattisgarh state government extended Tuesday four mining leases held by NMDC until September 2035.

The leases for the mines in Bailadila (Numbers 14, 14-NMZ, 10 and 5) were due to expire in March 3, 2020. A fifth mine in the same area was extended in 2017, NMDC said.

The four mines produce about 24 million mt of NMDC's annual production of 33 million mt over April 2018-March 2019, the company said.

The extensions come after India's coal ministry awarded the Rohne coking coal mine in Jharkhand to NMDC on December 14.

"This allocation would ensure the coking coal requirement of NMDC's upcoming steel plant at Nagarnar, Chattisgarh to some extent," the company said. "This is an important step for raw material security for the steel plant and also to some extent reduce the import of coking coal."

The Nagarnar plant is expected to have a production capacity of 3 million mt/year and is projected to come online over H1 2020.

-- Clement Choo, clement.choo@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Norazlina Jumaat, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com