Encouraged by pick up in demand, state-owned iron ore miner NMDC Ltd is looking forward to clocking highest-ever production and sales to over 30 million tonne (MT) in the current financial year, ending March 31.
NMDC Chairman C S Verma expressed hope of bettering on both the counts when asked if the current good spell of sales would help the state-run firm achieve the coveted mark.
"We will far exceed the MoU target of 27.4 MT for current fiscal and why just 30 MT? We may end up the year with more than 30 MT both in production and sales," he told PTI.
PSUs sign Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government every year on their expected annual performance.
NMDC, which was facing evacuation problems from its mines in Chattisgarh and Karnataka earlier to raise production, has improved on both production and sales in the first 10 months of current fiscal.
During the April-January period, the company's production has risen to 23.23 MT, up by 2.52 MT than in the same period last fiscal. Sales also went up to 24.28 MT, 3.25 MT more than the year-ago period.
Production and sales of NMDC, country's largest iron ore producer, never touched the 30 MT mark in the history of the company since it was incorporated in 1958.
These went up to 29 MT in 2008-09, but since then fallen to between 25.1 MT and 27.4 MT, for both production and sales, in the subsequent years.
The company's production during the third quarter was 7.3 MT, a growth of more than 36 per cent over the corresponding period last year. Sales were at 7.34 MT which was about 38 per cent more than a year ago.
Verma said that the demand for iron ore from the domestic steel makers on the rise in recent times.
The company is enhancing its iron ore capacity to 48 MT from 32 MT now. The expansion would be gradually commissioned from June and completed by December this year.