Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) on Saturday said it has set a target to achieve highest ever production of eight million tonnes (MT) of iron ore during the current financial year (2017-18) while a a work plan has been set to ramp it up to 20 MT by 2019-20.
Beating the global market slowdown, the state-run public sector undertaking could sell around 7.7 million tons of iron ore during 2016-17 against sale of 4.5 million tons during 2015-16, said an official.
The sale of iron ore up to July 31 has crossed 2.14 MT, an increase of 9 per cent over the same period last year, the official said.
Similarly, in spite of fall in ferro-chrome prices, OMC has started its business operation for sale of around 1 MT chromite during 2017-18 against 0.8 MT of sale in last fiscal.
The sale value of this production is expected to be around Rs 2,800 crore which would be highest in the last 5 years.
The corporation has scaled up its net profit to Rs 846 crore during 2016-17 after taxes.
Holding a review meeting on Saturday, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi directed OMC officials to adopt innovative methods for scaling up mining operations and business transactions.
OMC officials said that the corporation has constantly enhanced its production of iron ore over last 5 years.
In 2013-14, the total iron ore production was around 1.8 MT which increased to 3.1 MT during 2014-15, 6 MT during 2015-16 and further to 6.4 MT in 2016-17.
OMC Managing Director Vineel Krishna said that during 2015-16, the corporation paid Rs 1,415 crore to government towards royalty, dividend, and taxes.
He also the work plan to ramp up production by 2019-20.
During 2016-17, OMC paid Rs 1,548 crore to the government while in the first quarter of the current fiscal, it has already paid Rs 300 crore towards royalty, dividend and sales tax, he added.
OMC has set up Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (OMECL) to conduct exploration activities for new mining sites. The scope of the exploration work has been listed out by a committee headed by Director of Mines.
Four manganese blocks in Bolangir, four bauxite blocks in Rayagada, seven iron ore blocks in Khandadhar, and iron ore block in Thakurani-A have been identified for exploration through OMECL, said Krishna.