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Iron ore output climbs 10%

Business Standard:  October 21, 2014

Bengaluru: The domestic production of iron ore has shown a positive trend during the first half of the current financial year, despite many mines being shut in Goa, Karnataka, Odisha and Jharkhand.

The production touched 77 million tonnes between April and September, a growth of 10 per cent compared to 70 million tonnes a year ago, according to data compiled by OreTeam Research, a Delhi-based firm. For the year ended March, the production touched 152 million tonnes.

The mines ministry is yet to confirm the numbers. "We do not have official data on the production for the first six months. It is possible the production has gone up this year mainly in Odisha and in Karnataka to an extent," said Basant Poddar, senior vice-president, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries.

He expressed concern over the delay by the Karnataka government in giving approvals for the renewal of leases. Many mines are awaiting these, he said.

According to miners and analysts, the production has come largely from Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka during the first six months. "Odisha had done a considerable amount of production before the mines were closed after the Supreme Court order. State-owned NMDC has geared up for increasing its production both in Chhattisgarh and Karnataka," said Prakash Duvvuri, head of research at OreTeam.

NMDC has achieved 12.3 per cent rise in production at 14 million tonnes during April-September. Most has come from its Chhattisgarh mines. In Karnataka, 21 mines are working of 23 cleared by the Supreme Court panel.

During the first six months, about 11 million tonnes of iron ore has been produced and sold through the e-auctions.

The apex court has fixed a cap of 30 million tonnes for the state, whereas out of 115 mines in A and B categories, till now 23 mines were approved. However, two leaseholders - Sesa Sterlite and Balaji Produce Company - had to shut down their operations. Sesa Sterlite has shut down due to expiry of their working permit and Balaji Produce Co had to stop due to some dispute.

Recently, the apex court has approved the Karnataka government-owned Mysore Minerals Limited to start production and produce around 3 million tonnes per annum. MML has started its operations and it is expected to enter the e-auction platform in a month, official sources said.

The production from Karnataka is likely to touch 21-23 million tonnes in FY15 and cross 25-million tonne mark in FY16.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.

x IBEF : India Brand Equity Foundation