KIOCL restarts iron ore pellet exports after 30 months

Our Bureau Mangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on January 11, 2014

Malay Chatterjee

Plans to export 3 lakh tonnes to China this fiscal

KIOCL Ltd (formerly Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd) aims to export 3 lakh tonnes of iron ore pellets to China in the January-March quarter.

After a gap of nearly two-and-a-half years, the company started the export of pellets with a consignment of around 50,000 tonnes being loaded at New Mangalore Port on Saturday.

Addressing presspersons here, Malay Chatterjee, CMD of KIOCL, said exports had stopped in August 2011.

Explaining the reason, he said the company does not have captive mines. It has been sourcing iron ore from NMDC’s mines in Chhattisgarh, incurring a huge logistics cost.

Also, the Railways have been levying distance-based charges.

These factors led to the pellet prices being not competitive in the world market.

The ore has to travel 750 km by rail and another 1,500 km by sea, he said.

Stating that KIOCL pellets are very popular in China and Japan, he said: “We are opening up our export vertical after two years and five months. Even after paying distance-based charge, today I could sell it in the international market with a little profitability.”

KIOCL stopped mining operations in the Kudremukh region of Karnataka in January 2006 following a Supreme Court order, as the mines are situated in an area declared as a national park.

Mangalore plant

The company continues to operate its pellet plant in Mangalore with a capacity to produce 3.5 million tonnes.

For the first time after the closure of mines in Kudremukh, the company will be having a record production, surpassing 2 million tonnes, during the current fiscal, Chatterjee said.

He further said the company has called for a global tender for the disposal of machinery at Kudremukh.

“It has been awarded under the competitive bidding to Annam Steel. We have got the highest bidding amount of Rs 227 crore,” he said, adding that the disposal process began eight months ago.


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Published on January 11, 2014
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