State-owned iron ore miner NMDC's production and sales took a beating by over 13% during the April-December period of the current fiscal.
The company, the largest producer of the key steel-making raw material in the country, produced 175.56 lakh tonnes iron ore during the first nine months of the current fiscal, a 13.3% dip over 202.79 lakh tonnes produced a year ago.
Sales also declined by 13.47% during the April- December period to stand at 180.38 lakh tonnes against 208.45 lakh tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal, a Steel Ministry data has showed.
In value-terms also, sales declined by 13.31% to Rs 7,475 crore from Rs 8,623 crore during the April-December period of the last fiscal.
However, both sales and production of the company during December increased by 2.13% and 8.5% to 9.41 lakh tonnes and 22.34 lakh tonnes, respectively.
NMDC had produced 272.6 lakh tonnes iron ore in 2011-12, recording an eight% growth over 2001-11 and sales went up by four% to 273 lakh tonnes. The company posted Rs 11,262 crore turnover for the year 2011-12.
The company had produced 320 lakh tonnes in 2007-08, 285 lakh tonnes in 2008-09, 238 lakh tonnes in 2009-10 and 252 lakh tonnes in 2010-11.
NMDC has 15,650 lakh tonnes iron ore reserves including in 11B and Kumaraswamy deposits, being developed now, in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka, as on March 31, 2011. India has 285,260 lakh tonnes of proven reserves.
The company has raised its installed iron ore production capacity from 242.2 lakh tonnes per annum in FY06 to 320 lakh tonnes in FY08.
The development of Kumaraswamy deposit and 11B deposit are critical for the company to meet the growing demand of the steel industry and to achieve its targeted 45 million tonnes per annum production by 2015-16.
NMDC's share in the country's iron ore production had slipped to 11% in 2009-10, from 14% in 2005-06, but had gone up to 16% in 2011-12, mainly because of the ban on private mining in Karnataka.