Millennium Post

Iron ore production may dip, warn experts

Amidst continuing fall in iron ore exports, the industry is now staring at steep fall in production, which is likely to slip to 130-140 million tonnes this fiscal, warn miners and industry experts. Factors like subdued domestic demand coupled with fall in exports are attributed for the possible slump in overall production of the commodity during this fiscal. 'Iron ore production will not be more than 130-140 mn tonnes in the current financial year as against close to 170 mn tonnes last fiscal,' Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) secretary general RK Sharma said.

While domestic demand is subdued, various curbs on exports are behind this possible decline, he added.

Earlier, a research report from Citi had also pointed out a fall in the iron ore production saying ban in major producing states and slower environmental clearances are the factors behind such possible decline. Mining in Goa has been halted on pending environmental clearance along with many parts of Karnataka. Though the Supreme Court had earlier allowed mining operations in 18 category-A mines in Karnataka, industry experts say it will take much longer to resume it. 'Out of the Category-A mines that have been allowed to resume operation, only one mine has reopened so far. Though others will follow, it will take some more time,' FIMI vice-president Basant Poddar said. Poddar, the promoter of Mineral Enterprises in Karnataka, said the projection of 130-140 mn tonnes production is realistic.
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