Vedanta produces first iron ore from Karnataka since 2011

Indian diversified miner Sesa Sterlite produced 1.5 million tonnes of saleable iron ore in the January-March period, parent company Vedanta Resources said on Thursday April 10.

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The production came from Sesa Sterlite’s mines in the state of Karnataka, where it resumed mining on December 28 last year following the partial lifting of a mining ban that was put in place in 2011.

The miner sold only 27,000 tonnes of the output, Vedanta said.

Meanwhile, pig iron output rose 28% year-on-year to 133,000 tonnes in the quarter.

Sesa Sterlite’s iron ore mines in Goa have been idled since September 2012 due to the imposition of a mining ban while the state investigates illegal mining activities and environmental breaches.

The company sold 300,000 tonnes of iron ore from its Goan inventories during the quarter through e-auctions initiated in the state this year, but the volumes were not accounted for in the results as no shipments took place before April.

Mining and export bans in Goa and Karnataka have crippled India’s once-prominent iron ore industry. While most bans have been lifted in Karnataka, a final decision from the Supreme Court on lifting the restrictions in Goa are expected this month.

An expert committee suggested, in a report to the Supreme Court on March 24, that the cap for sustainable mining in Goa should be 27.5 million tpy, but the ideal limit would be 20 million tpy until a scientific study is completed within the next 12 months, Vedanta said.

Sesa Sterlite has an iron ore development project in Liberia. It also produces zinc, lead, silver, copper, aluminium, oil & gas and commercial power.

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