Steel production in India will double to 124 million tonnes a year by 2011-12, steel minister Virbhadra Singh told Reuters.

Singh said the ongoing expansion in the country’s steel sector would make India a major steel producer.

The steel industry in India is largely unaffected by the global downturn and steel consumption has increased, he said.

The output of India’s mining industry as a whole jumped 2.7% in May from a year earlier after a revised 1.2% gain in April, a statistics agency in New Delhi has found, according to Bloomberg.

It was recently announced that the government will speed up granting steel producer POSCO an iron-ore mining license, ending a four-year wait for the firm and allowing it to secure Indian-based resources.