In a first, cos start importing iron ore due to mining ban
The country’s largest iron ore exporter, the Goa-based Sesa Goa, which has a pig iron plant in the state, has already finalised an order to import 80,000 tonnes of iron ore, a company official told FE. Essar Steel officials confirmed that the company has recently imported half a million tonnes of ore for its steel plant located in Gujarat. Sources said that the country’s largest private sector steel producer JSW Steel could also soon join the ranks of Indian iron ore importers.
No doubt the ban on mining in iron ore-rich states like Karnataka, Goa and Orissa is having an adverse impact on the domestic steel industry, one among the low-cost producers of the metal in the world and growing at a faster rate than steel industries in most parts of the world. Industry analysts estimate that India would need to import 20-30 million tonnes of iron ore next fiscal to meet demand from domestic steel producers.
The shortage of the raw material is one of the problems being faced by steel producers. The other is the huge pricing power state-owned National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) commands in the market.
Private steel producers buy the bulk of their iron ore requirement from NMDC and allege that it is now charging prices higher than what is
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