KIOCL Ltd is planning to produce around 3 lakh tonnes of iron ore from Devadari mines in Ballari district of Karnataka by 2024-25.

On January 2, the company had executed a 50-year lease deed for 388 hectares of Devadari mines with the Director, Mines and Geology, Karnataka Governmen for iron and manganese ore.

Addressing the media in Mangaluru, T Saminathan, Chairman and Managing Director of KIOCL Ltd, said it had registered the mining lease deed on January 18.

The company is planning to produce 3 lakh tonnes of iron ore by 2024-25, and 5 lakh tonnes by 2025-26. He said the company is targeting to produce 1 million tonnes of iron ore by 2026-27 and 2 million tonnes by 2027-28 from the Devadari mine. Beneficiation plant of KIOCL will come up when the production level reaches 2 million tonnes, he said.

There is a need to do a detailed exploration work for the beneficiation plant. Based on this, a detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared. This DPR will help in establishing the beneficiation plant at Devadari, he said.

Beneficiation improves the economic value of the ore by removing the gangue minerals, which results in a higher grade product (ore concentrate) and tailings.]

KIOCL Ltd stopped mining operations in Kudremukh region in 2006. There was no captive mine for the company after that.

On the levy and withdrawal of 45 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets, he said the production activities of the company had to be stopped temporarily in Mangaluru with the imposition of 45 per cent export duty effective May 22, as it was economically unviable. During the half year ended September 30, the company had incurred a loss of ₹146 crore.

He said the withdrawal of 45 per cent export duty on iron ore pellets effective November 19 has significantly helped in the growth and progress of the company. Post export duty removal, the company is striving hard to overcome the challenges, he said.