New Delhi: Ministry of Mines has allowed SAIL to offload in a year up to a quantity equivalent to maximum 25% of total iron ore production in the previous year. It will be subject to clearance from the respective State Governments, where the mines are located, after following due procedure. It is valid for a period of 2 years. This implies that around 7 Million tonnes of iron ore, produced at its different mines in the States of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh, can be offloaded by SAIL to the domestic market after getting necessary clearance from the respective State Governments. This will enable SAIL to not only fulfil its own requirement, but also to partially cater to shortfall in domestic iron ore requirement. The order of Ministry of Mines follows pursuant efforts of the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, in this regard.
In a separate Order issued by the Ministry of Mines, SAIL has also been allowed to dispose of the old stock of 70 Million Tonnes of low grade iron fines and ores (including slime), lying dumped across different captive mines of SAIL. Necessary permission will have to be taken from the States, where the mines are located (i.e. Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh). It is a definitive step towards Environment Protection as well as release of value from hitherto dumped material.
It is pertinent to mention here that as per provision of Section 8A(6) of Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 (in short, MMDR Act, 1957), the lease of 31 working mines of iron ore is expiring on 31.03.2020. After the expiry, it is expected to lead to a shortfall of 60 Million Tonnes of iron ore in the market.
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Shri Dharmendra Pradhan while lauding the initiative said, “Ensuring raw material security for Indian steel industry has been at the top of our agenda. Our Government has taken several efforts towards this and the orders passed by the Ministry of Mines is an important step in this direction”