Public sector mining major NMDC has reported a 66 per cent jump in production to 4.57 million tonnes (MT) in March 2021, from 2.76 MT a year ago, and a 51 per cent growth in sales to 4.08 MT during the month of March 2021 as compared to 2.70 MT sales March 2020. Production and sales in March were the highest in the company's history. The previous best show was in March 2018 when the company mined 4.10 MT.
Chhattisgarh production in March stood at 3.98 MT as compared to 2.60 MT, while sales stood at 3.21 MT (2.41 MT). Mining in Karnataka rose to 0.59 MT from 0.16 MT, while sales rose to 0.87 from 0.29 MT.
During the year ended March 31, 2021 total production stood at 34.11 MT as compared to 31.49 MT, an increase around 8.32 per cent, while sales rose to 33.27 Mt from 31.51 MT, an increase of around six per cent.
Production at Chhattisgarh in 2020-21 was 26.56 MT as compared to 24.49 Mt, while sales rose to 25.85 MT from 24.46 MT. Production at Karnataka stood at 7.55 MT as compared to 7 MT, while sales rose to 7.42 Mt from 7.05 Mt.
The company achieved the growth despite the Donimalai mine at Karnataka remaining closed for almost 10 months during the last fiscal. NMDC lost nearly 50 days of production at Chattisgarh due to rain. Normally mining activity at Chattisgarh will hit due to rain for around 20-25 days in a year.
It may be noted, due to the pandemic the company lost one quarter which lead to around 1.82 million tonnes production loss during the first quarter of 2020-21
NMDC's Donimalai in Karnataka was non operational since 2018 after NMDC and Karnataka Government got into legal battle over Donimalai mine. Government of India has entered into an agreement with the Government of Karnataka and Ministry of Steel to extend Donimalai Iron ore lease. NMDC has been operating the mine, but operations were suspended since November 2018.
In December NMDC's Donimalai Iron ore lease was extended for 20 yrs and the company restarted the mining activities from February and did only 600,000 tonnes during the fiscal, while on an average the company used to mine around 6 MT per year before it was closed.