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Miners seek Apex Court approval to export iron ore in Karnataka

Mining News - Published on Mon, 15 Apr 2019

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DH reported that with steel mills not keen on buying low-grade iron ore fines in Karnataka, the mining industry has sought urgent intervention of the Supreme Court for permission to export the key steel-making raw material. During the fiscal ended March 2019, close to 5 million tonnes of iron ore was unsold at the e-auctions in Karnataka. This prompted the miners to approach the Apex court for permission to export. Currently, the export of iron ore from Karnataka is not allowed as per the Apex Court order dated April 13, 2013.

Two of the private sector mining companies such as Vedanta and Mineral Enterprises Limited (MEL) that operates iron ore mines in Chitradurga district are seeking approval to export iron ore. Both have filed separate petitions. MEL filed its application in the SC on Wednesday, whereas Vedanta’s application was made much earlier.

Mr Basant Poddar, Managing Director, MEL told DH that “We want to export iron ore fines produced in our mines in Chitradurga which are of low-grade (54 fe) and there is no demand for such ore in the country. Even when we offered at a low base price of Rs 450 per tonne in e-auction, which is far lower than the imported material, the steel mills have not bid for them for many months. Export of such material will also help us in recovering costs and earn valuable foreign exchange for the country as well.”

Also, the prevailing prices of iron ore in the international market makes it attractive for miners to look at the export market. Currently, 54 Fe iron ore is priced at USD 60 per tonne in the international market, while the high-grade iron ore with 62 Fe is priced at USD 92 per tonne.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Mon, 15 Apr 2019
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