The State-owned miner OMDC has chalked out an ambitious plan to raise its iron ore and manganese ore production capacity to 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) and one mtpa respectively by 2015-16.

“OMDC has envisioned to increase production of iron ore and manganese ore to 10 mt and 1 mt respectively by 2015-16,” the company said in a presentation to the Steel Ministry recently.

Set up in 1918, the Orissa Minerals Development Corporation (OMDC) has six mining leases with estimated reserves of 206 million tonnes of iron ore and 44 million tonnes of manganese ore.

However, due to closure of mining operations for want of forest and environment clearance after leasehold rights for all the mines expired, OMDC could not produce a single tonne of the raw materials last fiscal. In 2007-08, the company produced 17.28 lakh tonnes of iron ore, while manganese ore output stood at 0.82 lakh tonnes. However, its production started dwindling gradually thereafter.

Hoping that it would get the necessary clearances from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) soon for at least two mines, OMDC has pegged its iron ore and manganese ore production at six lakh tonnes and 0.6 lakh tonnes for the current fiscal. It hopes to generate a total income of Rs 276 crore.

The leases for two mines that OMDC expects to be renewed soon are Kolha-Rodia and Dalki, located at Keonjhar in Odisha.

It received environment clearance for the Kolha-Rodia lease last month.

State-run Eastern Investments Ltd (EIL) is the holding company of OMDC, while Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd (RINL) is the holding company of EIL.

Meanwhile, OMDC is looking to go in for value addition of the raw materials that it produces. It intends to set up a 2 mt beneficiation plant and a 2 mt pelletisation plant.

“Increased production coupled with facilities for value addition will help the company clock a turnover of Rs 5,000 crore in next five years,” a source in the company said.

(This article was published on August 8, 2012)
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