Iron ore mining tragedy in Odisha

The hon’ble Supreme Court in Nov’13 decided to permit sales of 15 MnT in Goa Iron ore e-auction. The ore was extracted before 10 Sep, 2012 lying at different jetties, stock yards & mines head in the form of lumps, fines & dumps since then.

First ever Goa Iron ore e-auction was held on 17 Feb, 2014. It received an overwhelming response from the Indian exporters & traders. Out of 536,000 MT ore being offered in the auction, 535,000 MT was sold out. In contrast to market expectations, steel mills did not participate in the e-auction.

10 Sep, 2012: Iron ore mining & exports ban in Goa on grounds of environmental norms & illegalities

11 Nov, 2013: The Supreme Court allowed liquidation of already extracted 15 MnT Iron ore

17 Feb, 2014: First ever Iron ore e-auction in Goa of half million tonne by Goa’s Directorate of Mines & Geology (DMG)

05 Mar, 2014: Second Iron ore e-auction for 1.5 MnT proposed in Goa

In conversation with Steel 360

Prasanna Acharya, Director of Mines & Geology, Government of Goa

 “Out of the total 15 MnT ore to be offered, 4 MnT is lying at jetty, 0.2 MnT at port and 10.8 MnT at mines head. Of 15 MnT, around 6 MnT is ROM and lying at mines head & processing plants. A steep decline in Chinese Iron ore prices has resulted in low prices in Goa’s 1st ever e-auction. Also, quality of the raw material is quite inferior in comparison to Karnataka.

We have given equal opportunity for participation to steel mills, exporters or traders and have not discriminated or favored anyone in particular. All are open to the ore off-take. Logistic problems might restrict many steel mills to take part. Previous records show that about 98% of ore was exported which indicates that steel mills might not take a big share.”

P K Murugan, Senior VP, Commercial, JSW Steel

“Though we require Iron ore, only logistical constraints have restricted us from participation. Inferior quality of ore would not be a big issue because of our beneficiation plant. Transportation of ore from Goa to Karnataka is feasible by railways only as there is no port facility.

Road transportation is not possible as it will cost us INR 1,200/MT and trucks will carry less volume. Only 8-10 rakes can be moved by railways on a daily basis from Goa, which normally transports imported Coal and is given the first priority.”

D Vaman Rao, Head, Bulk Raw Materials, BMM Ispat

“We pay INR 400-500/MT for Iron ore procurement from Karnataka. Goa e-auction will cost three times of this.Trucks charge high for movement to & from Karnataka. Hence, we chose not to participate and the material is not of good quality too”.

R K Goyal, Kalyani Steels

“High moisture can be handled but the poor grade of ore offered will not help us in anyway. We do not have a beneficiation facility and therefore, will not be participating in Goa e-auctions. Rake loading permission for Iron ore in a day is restricted to a limited quantity only.”