In the first six months of 2018, the Mezhyrichensk Mining and Concentration Complex and the enterprise Valki Ilmenite (both in Zhytomyr region) incorporated in the Group DF holding company produced 70,000 tons of ilmenite concentrate, 80% more than in the same period of 2017.\r\nThe press service of Group DF announced this in a statement, Ukrainian News Agency reports.\r\nDuring the period in question the enterprises increased ilmenite ore output by 65% to or by 504,000 cubic meters to 1.278 million cubic meters year over year.\r\n"In the first half-year the enterprises Valki Ilmenite and the Mezhyrichensk Mining and Concentration Complex managed to increase output of ilmenite concentrate by nearly 80%. This became possible due to resumption of operation of Valki Ilmenite on June 1. Valki Ilmenite could not operate because of the suspension of the license by the State Geology and Mineral Resources Survey of Ukraine. We lost more than year because of litigations with the State. As a result the business lost a big part of profits and the State lost taxes. Finally we defended the position of the business and resumed the operation of the factory," the press service quoted Ivan Bodnar, director of Valki Ilmenite, as saying.\r\nThe statement reads that the demand for products of the two enterprises remains high and there are plans to boost output.\r\n"After the introduction of sanctions and the loss of the Russian market we redirected supplies to Ukrainian and European markets. At present the largest Ukrainian consumer of the enterprises is Sumykhimprom state enterprise. The remaining part of the products is exported to consumers in Europe," he said.\r\nThe statement reads that the enterprises have increased wages by 25% to UAH 11,000 on average.\r\nFollowing the performance of the Mezhyrichensk Mining and Concentration Complex and the enterprise Valki Ilmenite in the first half of 2018 the enterprises paid UAH 27.5 million of taxes to budgets of all levels, 51% more than in the same period of 2017 when Valki Ilmenite did not operate.\r\nAs Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, in 2010, the Group DF holding company (Austria), which belongs to Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash, launched the Mezhyrichensk Mining and Concentration Complex.\r\nThe limited liability company Valki Ilmenite was registered in 2001.\r\nThe core activity of Valki - Ilmenite is production of ilmenite concentrate.\r\nGroup DF is a diversified international group of companies with businesses in 11 countries in Europe and Asia.\r\nThe group is mainly engaged in nitrogen, titanium, gas, and banking businesses. It is one of the biggest investors in the chemical and energy industries in Eastern Europe.\r\nThe group also develops agricultural, media, and real estate companies.\r\nBusinessman Dmitry Firtash is the founder and owner of Group DF.