New Delhi: State-run NMDC plans to increase its iron ore production capacity to 48 million tonnes per annum by 2014-15 from current installed capacity of 32 mtpa.
The proposed capacity expansion would help it feed its upcoming steel-making plant in Chhattisgarh and also partly meet domestic steel makers growing demand.
In a recent presentation, NMDC said it hopes to start one deposit at Balidala in Chhattisgarh with an annual capacity of 7 mtpa by next year.
Work is also going on to develop Kumaraswamy deposits in Karnataka. NMDC has not given any expected time-line for the operations from this deposit to start.
"The Kumaraswamy deposit, currently being developed for an annual production of seven mtpa," NMDC said, adding that an additional two mtpa capacity could be developed from existing mines.
NMDC had produced 27.3 million tonnes iron ore in 2011-12, up from 25.2 million tonnes in the previous year. It has 1,360.6 million tonnes iron ore reserves, as on January 1, 2010.
The steel industry continues to grow even as rest of the global steel industry is in the middle of a slowdown.
As per the Working Group on steel industry for the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), India's crude steel capacity is likely to increase to 149 MT by 2016-17 from the level of 78 MT.