India throws $15-bn lifeline to world iron ore miners
Steps taken by the central and state authorities to clean up the mining and export of iron ore have shut down output in two key producing states, slashing shipment and forcing steel mills to import a raw material the country has in abundance.
Now the Shah Commission, whose report on top exporter Goa led to the state government's ban on mining in September, has turned its attention to the last major iron ore-producing state of Odisha.
The exit of the world's third-largest iron ore exporter has been perfectly timed for miners in other countries seeking alternatives for their growing supplies as appetite from top buyer China slows.
The world's biggest producers Vale, Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton have taken some of India's market share in China, Japan and South Korea, and now are even eyeing exports to their erstwhile competitor.
Smaller miners like Australia's Fortescue Metals Group also benefit, as they supply the lower-grade ore that competes directly with India in the Chinese market.
"It will be a huge bonus for big miners," said Graeme Train, commodity analyst at Macquarie in Shanghai. "There'll also be a premium emerging for lower grade ore and India's absence will drive Chinese interest into Fortescue-type products."
India's campaign to end illegal mining -- which authorities say has cost Goa and Karnataka states around 510 billion rupees in lost revenue in the last decade -- has
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