The Hindu cited Mr K Ranganath C MD of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited as saying that INR 425 crore will be spent on 3 new projects this year.
Mr Ranganath said that projects are INR 225 crore ductile iron spun pipe unit an INR 100 crore scheme to replace vertical filters with horizontal filters at the pellet plant in Mangalore and an INR 100 crore plan for a railway line from Chikkanayakanahalli to Mangalore.
He said that the government has accepted the recommendation of the State Government to allot 116 hectares of land in Chikkanayakanahalli in Tumkur district to KIOCL for iron mining and a part of the equipment and manpower in Kudremukh will be shifted to the new location.
He said that his company has entered into a MoU with Orissa Mining Development Corporation for undertaking iron ore mining. In addition, the Maharashtra Mining Corporation and the Chhattisgarh Government have also invited tenders for iron ore and coal mining.
Giving details of the performance of KIOCL during the past decade, he said it earned a profit of INR 150 crore during 2007 or 2008 despite operating at less than half of its capacity. He said the company intends to earn a profit of INR 250 crore this year.
He said that 1.9 million tonnes of iron ore pellets were produced last year and the target for this year is 2.5 million tonnes. He said the replacement of vertical filters will enable the pellet plant to process iron ore available in the State as transportation of ore from Chhattisgarh was expensive.
He said that expressing satisfaction that the company did not incur losses even in a single year despite the closure of mining activities in Kudremukh at the end of December 2005 following a Supreme Court order, he said the company migrated to other fields and concentrated on pellet production and operation of blast furnace unit.
Mr Ranganath said that there is a proposal to utilize the infrastructure in Kudremukh to promote eco tourism. Discussions have been held with the Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited and the response has been positive.