Vedanta hit by fall in iron ore output

India-focused miner Vedanta posted a drop in full-year iron ore output, as a ban on mining in the southern Indian state of Karnataka and logistical bottlenecks continued to bite.

Iron ore is typically one of London-listed Vedanta's most profitable products along with zinc, accounting for almost a third of profits.

The miner said its iron ore production over the full-year to the end of March fell to 13.8m tonnes compared with 18.8m tonnes a year ago. Sales totalled 16.0 million tonnes, from 18.1m tonnes the previous year.

Iron ore shipments from India have been sliding for the last two years, with a ban on mining in the top-producing southern state Karnataka - part of efforts to combat illegal mining - hitting output. Hikes in export taxes as the government tries to keep supplies for domestic use have also hurt overseas sales.

Vedanta said its refined zinc production from its core Indian operations rose 6 percent to 759,000 tonnes for the year, despite a dip in the fourth quarter. Zinc contributed roughly half the group's core profit at the half year.

Aluminium production rose five per cent to 675,000 tonnes for the full year.

Vedanta in February unveiled long-awaited plans to streamline its structure, improve access to cash and reduce debt - a process of eliminating cross holdings that will begin with the proposed merger of base metals producer Sterlite Industries and iron ore miner Sesa Goa to create Sesa Sterlite, an umbrella unit for others.