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Posco allowed to export iron ore from India: A Sai Prathap

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New Delhi: The government today said that steel giant Posco has been permitted to export iron ore to South Korea from the captive reserves it will be allocated to feed its proposed Rs 51,000 crore project in Orissa.

“Posco India is allowed to export iron ore from Orissa as per conditions of MoU,” Minister of State for Steel A Sai Prathap informed the Rajya Sabha.

The Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act, 1957, governs allocation of captive resources like iron ore. Such minerals are alloted only for dedicated consumption by the end-use project. Sale and export of minerals from such deposits are normally not allowed.

Giving details of the agreement signed between the Orissa government and the firm in 2005, the Minister said Posco will need about 600 million tonnes of iron ore to run its proposed 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) plant for the next 30 years. Iron ore is a vital raw material for making steel.

“The company may swap certain quantities (not exceeding 30 percent of the total requirement of the Paradeep plantannually) of such iron ore which have high alumina content with equal quantity of low alumina content iron ore.

Any export of iron ore by way of swap will be allowed only after an equivalent quantity of ore has been imported for the plant,” he added.

Prathap also said, “Export of additional 400 million tonnes of iron ore from India for existing steel plants of Posco in South Korea would be regulated by the prevailing Export-Import (EXIM) policy.”

The quantity of iron ore to be exported and imported will be within the framework of EXIM policy, he said, adding, “No minable reserves would be provided purely for the purpose of the direct exports.”

“It is clarified that no export of iron ore will be allowed from the captive mine except by way of full replacement through import of equal quantity of high grade ore,” he added.

As per the MoU with the state, Posco was to commission the first phase of its project, comprising 6-MTPA capacity, by July, 2010, and the whole project was to get off the ground by July, 2016.

However, Posco has been facing delays in the launch of the proposed plant for about five years now on account of problems in acquiring land and regulatory clearances. Its application to mine iron ore in Orissa is stuck in litigation.

In the wake of such delays, the company is exploring the option to set up a Rs 30,000 crore plant in Karnataka. It is also in talks with state-owned SAIL to build two multi-billion dollar plants in India in a joint venture.

Written by janjagriti

May 11, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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