N. Baijendra Kumar, CMD, NMDC, is in the midst of implementing Vision 2025, which envisages higher capacity, strengthened exploration, forward integration, diversification and investments in other geographies
What are the current and future greenfield and brownfield expansion plans? How will it change NMDC by 2025 ?
NMDC has formulated a strategy to meet the enhanced iron requirement by increasing its capacity in tune with the National Steel Policy 2017. Accordingly, NMDC Vision 2025 lays down the objectives for the growth agenda as: increase iron ore mining capacity; strengthen exploration; forward-integrate to value added business (pellet and steel); strategically diversify into other commodities; invest in other geographies selectively based on “mining potential” and “business environment”.
NMDC has planned to increase its iron ore mining capacity to 67 MTPA by FY’22. This will help in fulfilling the raw material requirement of the country to meet 300 MT steel in coming future. NMDC has two major thrust areas to achieve the production capacity of 67 MTPA of iron ore.
NMDC has taken several measures to improve economy of operations by deployment of higher capacity equipment and introduction of new technologies in production processes to reduce operational cost. For achieving the targeted capacity growth, NMDC is upgrading and augmenting its mines infrastructures like crushing, screening and loading plant.
Efforts are being made to deploy more and more state-of-the-art technologies to maximise productivity. Installation of state-of-the-art downhill conveyor system; 11B downhill conveyor at Kirandul project, Chhattisagarh, were installed with 3.6 km long single flight conveyor with horizontal curve with electricity regeneration capabilities.
A state-of-art 5 km single flight regenerative conveyor at Donimalai, Karnataka with vertical and horizontal curves has been provided for efficient and environment friendly transportation of iron ore. It is equipped with a maintenance trolley, dispensing with the regular maintenance galleries.
On similar lines; (a) Proposed new downhill conveyor system for deposit 14; (b) Up-gradation of Deposit 5 Downhill conveyor system at Bacheli is being implemented.
The construction of slurry pipelines will be done in two parts. Initially 15 MTPA pipeline from Bacheli to Nagarnar along with 2 MTPA beneficiation and pellet plant will be set up. The project is likely to be completed by September 2020. The second part constitutes 4 MTPA beneficiation plant at Kirandul and slurry pipeline from Kirandul to Bacheli along with and increase in beneficiation capacity to 4 MTPA at Bacheli will be taken up in second part. Slurry pipeline has been envisaged from Nagarnar to Vishakhapatnam with suitable partners, along with pellet plant at Vizag.
As a part of green field expansion, NMDC is setting up a 3 MTPA greenfield integrated steel plant through blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace(BF-BOF) route at Nagarnar near Jagadalpur in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Construction work is in advanced stages and the plant is getting ready for its commissioning of various units progressively, for which operational power supply system is already energized during March 2018. NMDC will put its all efforts to roll the first HR Coil by end of 2019.
The National Steel Policy 2017 envisions greenfield capacity additions through facilitating mechanism of SPVs. NMDC is spearheading this initiative in Karnataka and Jharkhand.
The company wishes to extract precious minerals like gold? Could you throw a little light on the efforts related to these?
The efforts being made by NMDC to acquire gold deposit through reservation and through auction route:
1. NMDC has carried out regional gold exploration in two areas in Karnataka. We also carried out gold exploration in Madagascar and Tanzania.
2. Based on the experience, we have submitted the proposals for Bhukia gold block inBanswara district, Rajasthan.
3. Apart from this, NMDC became the preferred bidder n the auction in Andhra Pradesh.
4. The government has allotted three blocks for regional exploration in Karnataka and MP.
What is the rationale behind the current buyback of shares?
The objective is to return surplus cash to the members holding equity shares. Buyback is a more efficient form of returning surplus cash to the members holding equity shares of the Company.
Can you share what is NMDC doing to curb the volatility in prices of iron ore?
As you are aware, domestic prices of iron ore are totally dynamic in nature and varies from region to region and mainly depends on various factors like availability, logistics, demand for iron ore, steel, sponge iron, pellets etc in domestic as well as in international markets.
Iron ore pricing in India is de-regulated and the iron ore industry is dominated by private miners and each mine owner has the liberty to fix its own prices. The total production of iron ore in India is around 200 million tonnes (around 100 million tonnes is from Odisha only) out of which NMDC’s contribution is round 35 million tonnes, which accounts for only about 17-18% of total India’s production. Keeping in mind the volatility in iron ore prices, NMDC tries to align its iron ore prices with the prevailing market dynamics considering various factors into account.
What is the vision and philosophy behind the company’s CSR?
NMDC is as proud of its achievements in the area of CSR, as it is with its attainments in the area of mining. Whereas, CSR for a corporate is a means to return the favour of sparing precious resources for its development and growth, NMDC considers CSR the raison d’être for its very existence and sustenance in some of the most challenging, backward and security sensitive areas of the country.
This is because the culture of CSR is as old as the Company itself and the philosophy of inclusive growth being a quintessential part of Company’s growth, guides the Company’s CSR.