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Tata Steel is planning to augment its iron ore production from the current level of 30 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 45 mtpa in the next five years, a senior company official said on Saturday.

Total iron ore production from the Indian steel major's captive mines in Noamundi in Jharkhand and in Katamati, Joda and Khondbond blocks in Odisha, is about 30 mtpa, said Tata Steel's ore, mines and quarries (OMQ) division general manager Atul Kumar Bhatnagar said.

“In the next five years, we will focus on increasing iron ore production capacity to 45 mtpa in line with the expansion in the steel making facilities in the country," he said.

Bhatnagar asserted that the current iron ore production is sufficient to meet the iron ore requirement in Tata Steel's manufacturing facilities in Jharkhand's Jamshedpur and Odisha's Kalinganagar.

Tata Steel began its iron ore mining operation at Noamundi in 1925 and the mine will turn 100 in 2025, the Tata Steel official said. During the 5th National Conclave on Mines & Minerals in New Delhi on November 23, Noamundi iron ore mine was accorded the 'five-star rating' for three consecutive years from 2017-18 for sustainable development.

Asked about the use of drones in the mining sector, Bhatnagar said it is being deployed for surveying and monitoring purposes.

Under efforts for sustainable development of the block, a solar power plant spread over 19.2 acres of mined-out land was installed in 2017 in Naomundi, he said. He further added that the green cover has also been increased in the area.

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