Iron ore mine owners, govt at loggerheads over exports

The Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has retorted to the steel producers and Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Commerce and Industry, claim that the mining industry is exporting scarce iron ore resource to competing countries which are dumping finished steel products in India. Refuting the blame, FIMI said there is no need to conserve iron ore as steel in future will be produced by recycling with the production increasing progressively generating enough scrap for reuse.

Last year, India recycled 25 million tonnes of steel which accounted for 28 per cent of 90 mt of crude steel produced last year. China consumes 216 mt of scrap accounting 22 per cent of the steel produced while in the EU and the US recycled steel adds up to 55 per cent and 69 per cent of steel production.

Global steel scrap availability is expected to touch one billion tonnes in the next 10 years and further to 1.30 billion tonnes equivalent to 1.82 billion tonnes of iron ore by 2050. Miners are exporting iron ore legally to the only buyer in the world that is China and contributing to India’s GDP. There is an export duty of 30 per cent on iron ore with over 58 per cent iron content. The steel and sponge iron industry requires 165 mt of iron ore while the production stands at 206 mt. Since the production is in surplus, the user industry is very selective and wants to buy only iron ore with over 62 per cent iron content.