The Steel Ministry is of the view that India will have to start importing Iron ore in the immediate future to meet significantly increasing demand from domestic companies.
“With many projects in the pipeline, for expansion of Steel capacity, Iron ore requirement will increase significantly leading to its import in near future,” the Steel Ministry reported recently in a presentation to the Planning Commission.
The Ministry in its mid-year plan review has identified Iron ore availability as one of the challenges to achieve the Steel production target of 300 MnT pa by 2025. Its current production capacity is around 90 MnT pa. It would require sufficient time for 200 MnT plus production.
“Domestic requirement of Iron ore is increasing with the capacity addition in Steel production. Between the 2008-09 and 2012-13 period, the demand for Iron ore has gone up from 87.4 MnT to 124.8 MnT,” it said.
India, the world’s fourth largest producer of Steel after China, Japan and the US, had produced 78.3 MnT Steel during FY13. It is likely to slightly increase in current fiscal.
During the January-October period of the current year, India produced 66.38 MnT Steel.
The Steel Ministry also said Iron ore production has come down from 213 MnT in FY09 to 136 MnT FY13 due to ban on mining in Karnataka.
The government has already taken steps to put off Iron ore exports by raising the duty to 30 per cent.
As per the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFS) of mineral resources, total resource of Iron ore in the country is around 28510 MnT, as on 1 Apr, 2010.
Country’s Iron ore production is expected to rise in the coming days with the Supreme Court’s partially lifting ban on Iron ore mining in Karnataka.