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Hopeful of mining resuming after monsoon: Sesa Sterlite

Friday, 11 July 2014 - 5:07pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

After two-year-long ban on the iron ore extraction industry, Sesa Sterlite, a natural resource major, today said it expects export to resume soon post monsoon.

"We recognise that part of the Supreme Court decision lifting the ban needs to be taken up by both the State and federal government. "So we look forward for everyone working towards timely resumption of mining within those conditions by the end of the monsoon season," Sesa Sterlite CEO Tom Albanese told PTI here at the sidelines of the company's Annual General meeting.

The company, which had exported 14 MT, of total 40 MT during the year 2011-12, before the apex court banned the mining activity in Goa, conceded that the exports would decrease once the mining activity resumes because of several conditions. During the AGM, Albanese told shareholders that they would be able to retain all their leases.

He said that after the ban is lifted, the annual capping on the export would be 20 MT, which would easily be achieved considering the fact that the activity was stalled for last two years. "There is more than enough mining capacity to support 20 MT. I am confident that production will move up to the cap provided the economic conditions are good," he said.

Albanese said the industry should also recognise that over past two years there has been a reduction in the prices of iron ore, so the margins that existed couple of years back, is no longer present now. "The profits on the ore export will be curbed due to continuation of the export duty and some of the ore that was mined two years ago may not be economical now," he added.

He said that the Sesa Sterlite would be looking at fresh extraction primarily for the export market. The industry is also wary about the decrease in demand from China market, due to two year long lull. "With the mining ban being imposed in Goa, the loss has been compensated by increased production from Australia.

Hopefully, once the ban is lifted, India can regain some of their market share," the CEO said. Earlier, addressing the shareholders, he said resumption of mining in Goa is only the start.

"I believe, we need to use this as just the first step for a momentum to create Goa as a world class mining hub, to develop Goa as the state serving both the Indian steel mining sector and generating much needed export earnings," he said. Albanese said that the larger scale operation with larger fleet could make Goa a global iron ore hub.

Export duties and high rail rates hinder the business, specially of lower grade iron ore, which Goa is known for.

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