Midhani as a defence PSU was in the process of taking various steps to reduce the dependency on China for the strategic metals and make the country self-reliant in the sector.
The Mishra Dhatu Nigam (Midhani) Limited, a special grade metal maker, is looking at reducing dependency on China for the strategic metals used in defence products as it was facing issues over pricing and quality of imported materials, a top official of the PSU has said.
"There are issues in terms of pricing by Chinese companies on imports of some of the special grade metals used in making defence products. Apart from this, the quality of Chinese materials is also some times inferior," city-based Midhani Chairman and Managing Director Dinesh Kumar Likhi said.
Midhani, a government of India enterprise under the Defence Ministry, produces special steel, super-alloys and is the sole manufacturer of titanium alloys in the country. Likhi said Midhani as a defence PSU was in the process of taking various steps to reduce the dependency on China for the strategic metals and make the country self-reliant in the sector.
He also said the Detailed project Report for the proposed joint venture with Nalco to manufacture aluminium alloys at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh will be ready in the next six months.
"Make in India cannot happen unless self-reliance in material comes. A few months ago cobalt was selling at USD 30 (per kg) now it is selling at USD 100 per kg. A few months ago Vanadium was selling at Rs 1,800 kg today it is selling at Rs 3,500 kg," he said elaborating on the price issue.
All these Chinese companies had taken the control of raw materials and were trying to dictate, Likhi said. "We are a small company. But we want to take this challenge and want to take pride that we will be making the country self-reliant in special metals. That is our mission," he told during the recent "Customer Meet-2018", held here. According to him, some of the rare minerals such as Tungsten, Cobalt and Nickle are not available in the country and it is forced to depend on imports.
He said Midhani, which has partnered with another PSU NMDC Limited, is in discussions with Vietnam-based Masan Resources to acquire minority stake in a Tungsten mine there. "We are are also trying to talk to some of the friendly countries like Vietnam.Along with NEC,we are trying to take some equity in a tungsten mine,he added.
The Centre recently offloaded 26 per cent of its holding in Midhani, a Mini-Ratna which was set up in 1973 here. More than 65 per cent of its customers is from the defence sector and the rest in automobiles and railways. For the fiscal 2017-18, Midhani registered about 4 percent increase in the profit-after-tax at Rs 131.26 crore against Rs 126.31 crore in FY 17. The total income, however, declined to Rs 695 crore when compared to Rs 833 crore in the previous fiscal.
Likhi said the company expected ten per cent growth in revenues during the current fiscal.