Sesa Sterlite’s iron ore, oil output dips in FY’15

New Delhi: Minerals major Sesa Sterlite today reported a decline in production of oil and gas, zinc and iron ore for the financial year 2014-15.

However, the output of copper, aluminium and power business rose during the fiscal that ended on March 31, as compared to the year-ago period, Sesa Sterlite said in a filing to the BSE.

The Vedanta Group company’s iron ore production dropped a steep 59 per cent during the fiscal to 0.6 million tonnes, owing to ban in its mining activities in Karnataka and Goa. In 2013-14 fiscal, it had fallen by 60 per cent.

Sesa Sterlite has already started mining in Karnataka and hopes to recommence production at its Goa facility soon as the Ministry of Environment and Forest revoked its ban.

The average daily oil production declined 3 per cent to 2.11 lakh barrels in 2014-15, while the refined zinc output dropped by two per cent at 7.34 lakh tonnes, the company said.

Oil production declined largely on account of maintenance at Mangala Processing Terminal at Rajasthan, higher than expected water cut at Bhagyam in Rajasthan and suspension of gas sales at Ravva for around three months, Sesa Sterlite said.

Besides, copper production rose by 23 per cent to 3.62 lakh tonnes during 2014-15, and aluminium output went up by 10 per cent and clocked 8.77 lakh tonnes in the fiscal.

Mined metal production was at 8.87 lakh tonnes, up by 1 per cent, while power production increased 5 per cent to 9,859 million units during 2014-15.

“Record levels of production in aluminium underpin our confidence in achieving greater operational performance and enhancing production across our well-invested and low-cost asset base, and from the start-up of new capacities,” Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese told PTI.

Commenting on the production data, billionaire Anil Agarwal-led firm said: “We continue to evaluate various options for restarting copper mine at Australia which is under care and maintenance.”

Giving reasons for decline in refined zinc production, Sesa Sterlite said it was lower due to lower mined metal production in the first half of the year.

“We continue to focus on the execution of our defined strategy and, despite volatile commodity markets, we remain confident in our diversified business model,” Albanese added.

Sesa Sterlite started the Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha last fiscal. “Q4 production in the Lanjigarh alumina refinery was robust and at record levels allowing us to achieve 98 per cent of the permitted capacity of 1 million tonnes in FY2015,” it said.

The company said that out of the two power plant of 300MW each at its Korba facility in Chhattisgarh, the first unit is currently under trial run and is expected to be commenced within the first quarter of the present fiscal.

The second unit will be on run during the second quarter.

Sesa’s Group company Balco, which won the Chotia coal block with reserves of 15.5 mt, will commence production in next few months after transfer of mining lease and other approvals from government authorities.

It further said, second unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant in Punjab will be made operational in the current quarter while the third unit will be operational by September 2015.

The company has already operationalised the first 660 MW unit of the Talwandi Sabo power plant in December 2014 and sold 1,213 million units of power.