India’s state-run miner KIOCL’s iron pellet production was down by 5pc at 590,000mt against a target of 620,000mt set for the December quarter (Q3) amid weak steel prices. KIOCL dispatched a recorded 6,48,000mt iron pellets against a target of 6,00,000mt.
In Q3 KIOCL incurred a loss of 3.66 crores due mainly to lacklustre iron ore market impacted by weak steel prices in the domestic as well as global markets, lower capacity utilization by steel makers, except in China, and an excess supply of pellets. Operating losses were bigger in October and November, but the prices recovered in December leading to profits.
KIOCL’s forward and backward integration project for its blast furnace unit, including setting up of 1,80,000 mt capacity coke oven plant and 2,00,000 mt capacity ductile iron spun pipe plant, awaits environment clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forest and has received clearance from Ministry of Finance. The company is processing statutory clearance for mining at Devadari mines, in Karnataka. Post clearance, KIOCL plans to set up a 2mn mt/yr beneficiation and pelletisation plant close to the mine.