Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd. (KIOCL) is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) having its head office in Bangalore pellets plant in Mangalore, Karnataka. They convert iron ore into pellets which are than exported to countries like China, Iran, Japan, Taiwan etc.
KIOCL is currently facing a severe shortage of iron ore for the production of pellets and is planning to go for partnership with National Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDC) for operating its pellet plant in Karnataka.
The chairman and Managing Director of KIOCL, Malay Chatterjee said, “The NMDC is currently setting up their pellet plant at Donimalai in Bellary district, which will be commissioned by December this year. Our concrete proposal is lying with NMDC for partnership. We have proposed to operate and maintain their plant as we have a considerable expertise in this field. The board of NMDC has also approved this proposal and we are waiting for finalizing the deal.”
KIOCL is into pellet making since the past 25 years and is currently operating a 3.5 MnT p.a. capacity plant in Mangalore. NMDC, after entering into a partnership with KIOCL is planning to sell the entire production in the domestic market. A senior NMDC official said, “We have our mines at Donimalai. There is enough stock of iron ore fines and slimes. We will use a mixture of both fines and slimes with Fe content of 55-58% as feedstock for our beneficiation plant. We will upgrade it to 64-65% Fe.”
KIOCL was planning to expand outside Karnataka and for this it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation and Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) for setting up of a beneficiation cum pellet plant in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh by investing around Rs 1,000 crore. The partnership with NMDC will be registered in next 6 months and KIOCL will get a share of 49% in the partnership. They will then invest around Rs 300 crore for iron ore mines in Nemalkal and Hiradahalu villages. KIOCL will be setting up a 1.2MnT p.a. capacity beneficiation cum pellet plant by mid of 2016 and invest around Rs 700 crore on it.
As the production of pellets are commenced the 50% of total production of KIOCL will be sold to RINL and the rest would be sold to other domestic steel mills, said Chatterjee.