JSW Steel looks to iron ore imports as back-up against India’s mining ban

India’s JSW Steel plans to import 5-6 million tonnes of iron ore to compensate for a shortfall in available domestic supply.

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“We will be importing [...] iron ore from Australia and South American countries. We have made the plan and will implement it when we see a further decrease in iron ore stocks,” a JSW Steel official told Steel First.

A ban on mining in some parts of India has hit domestic supply, prompting the steelmaker to look overseas instead.

The official stressed that if the mining bans were lifted, then the company may not have to resort to imports. But at this stage that looks unlikely, he said.

“The imported ore will arrive at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Mumbai, Maharashtra state for our Dolvi steel plant and the some imported ore will land on Tuticorin port for our Salem steel plant in Tamil Nadu and Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka,” he added.

However, the official did not comment on the size of the shipments that would be distributed to each plant or the amount the company would spend on the imports.

The volumes involved are not big, the official added. “Currently, we have enough iron ore stock to run our steel plant till July 2013. This is just a back-up plan,” he said.

“We are upbeat about orders from the domestic market and it will increase in days to come, as demand from construction and infrastructure is rising,” the official said of the current market conditions.

JSW Steel has a combined production capacity of 14.3 million tpy from its manufacturing facilities in Toranagallu in Karnataka, Vasind and Tarapur in Maharashtra and Salem in Tamil Nadu.

The company has also acquired mining assets in Chile, the USA and Mozambique.

JSW Steel produces hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil, galvanized coil, TMT rebar, wire rod, special steel bars, rounds and blooms.

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