KIOCL, a Union government undertaking, has plans to open up its pellet manufacturing plant in Mangaluru to its vendors who supply iron ore fines or concentrates, and buy back the pellets.
Addressing mediapersons in Mangaluru on September 17, Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) T. Saminathan, who took charge on September 7, said, “We will manufacture pellets for raw material suppliers. The company will sell back the pellets to suppliers by retaining the margin of manufacturing.”
The CMD said that the project will be implemented within six months and KIOCL is in talks with some companies in Oman and South Korea.
The new project is aimed at enhancing capacity utilisation of the pellet plant and reducing the total loses. The installed capacity of the pellet plant is 3.5 million tonnes per annum. Production was 2.21 million tonnes (63% of installed capacity) during 2020-21 against 2.37 million tonnes (67.7%) during the previous financial year.
The project is expected to contribute around 30% of the total revenue of the company.
Mr. Saminathan said that the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is expected to accord the state II environmental clearance for diverting 401.5761 hectares of forest land at Devadari Hill Range in Ballari district for mining of iron ore and manganese ore by March, 2022. The company is hopeful of starting mining in Ballari in March 2023.
KIOCL Limited had been forced to stop work at its captive mines in the Kudremukh hill rang on the Western Ghats in January 2006 following a Supreme Court order, which banned mining in the eco-sensitive region.