Two new iron mines have been put into production in the Indian state of Orissa to help ease the country's iron ore shortage.
Within 25 days of the request from the authorities of Orissa to the central Government, Jiling-Langlota iron ore blocks and Guali iron ore blocks were reserved for State-owned Odisha mining companies (OMC). This two mines have a total capacity of 1.5 million tons per month and 275 million tons of reserves.
India’s mining minister, Pralhad Joshi said: “These mines will help stabilize the supply of small businesses and will create a lot of jobs in the state.” He added that the mines would generate 40-50 billion rupees ($551-689 million) in revenue for Orissa. He also asked the Chief Minister of Orissa to auction more mines and start production in all non-working mines.
In December 2020, the iron ore production in India fell 12% to 20.9 million tons from a year earlier, as production at mines auctioned in Orissa continued to delay last year.
JSW Steel said that its crude steel production for the fiscal year ending March 2021 would be about 5% below the guidance target last month as the domestic iron ore supplies were disrupted. Credit rating agencies Crisil said that only 6-7 of the 19 mines auctioned in Orissa began mining operations last month, most of which were obtained by steelmakers to meet their needs. Iron ore shortages have triggered repeated price increases, and domestic steel mills in India have requested restrictions on iron ore exports.
Meanwhile, BHP said earlier this week that potential Indian ore miners finding a balance between domestic demand and attractive export sales was an uncertain factor in the global iron ore market in 2021.
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