SAIL Requests Ore Sale

With 70 Million Ton of iron ore fines dumped in various mines of Steel authority of India Limited (SAIL), Ministry of Steel has approached the State Government to allow these raw materials to be sold in the market.

These iron ore fines are dumped in various captive mines of SAIL for years together and are posing pollution hazard and concerns are raised by Green Activists as these are not disposed off.

SAIL has captive mines in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka and in these States tons of iron ore fines are dumped for more than 50 years and are not disposed off.

There are 12 Iron Ore Mines of SAIL in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh

With likely iron ore shortage to be felt post March 2020, Ministry of Steel has requested the State Government to allow such sale in the Open Market so that iron ore will be available for the Steel Makers.

As these iron ore fines are dumped and accumulated for over 50 years, now to know their grades is just not possible and segregation on the basis of Fe content is now not possible.

Informed sources said that these iron ore fines varies from 55-62 Percent and as multiple grades of fines are dumped for years together it is not possible to segregate these fines on the basis of their Fe content.

SAIL is not able to consume these iron ore fines as it has not enough beneficiation capacity and pelletization plant. So the steel plants run by SAIL will not be able to consume these raw materials.

In fact the stocks of iron ore fines are occupying huge areas and posing environmental hazards, admit officials.

So senior officials of the Ministry of Steel have approached the State Governments to allow SAIL 70 Million Ton of iron ore fines without taking it’s Fe content into consideration.

SAIL is needed to dispose off ‘As Is Where Is’ Basis so that it will serve twin purpose of reducing pollution hazard and increase availability of iron ore fines in the market in Post March 2020, when there will be acute shortage of raw materials for the Steel Makers.

Now the State Government will have to consult Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) for allowing disposal of iron ore fines by the SAIL authorities.

As royalty of these metals are estimated on the basis of Fe content, IBM and State Government will have to be satisfied on this count so that disposal will be possible.

Ministry of Steel has earlier urged the State Government to allow SAIL to sale 25 Percent of its iron ore fines in Open Market.

While allowing such sale, Odisha Government stipulated that “Such sale may be limited to ‘Domestic End User Industries and Export’ only, as applicable to any Merchant Miner for Non-Captive Lease and such sales will be limited for a period of two years as ordered by Government of India”.

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