New Delhi: The Steel Authority of India Ltd.(SAIL) is going to off load about 7 million tonnes of iron ore in the market to make easy the availability of key raw material to the Indian steel industry.

The country is going to face a short fall of 60 million tonnes of iron ore in 2020 as the lease of as many as 31 working mines going to expire in March 2020.

Following the initiatives of union steel minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the ministry of mines has allowed the Sail to offload in a year up to a quantity equivalent to maximum 25% of total iron ore production in the previous year. The permission is valid for two years. The SAIL, however, has to take the clearances of the State governments of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattishgarh where its mines are located.

This implies that around 7 Million tonnes of iron ore, produced at its different mines in the States of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chattisgarh, can be offloaded by SAIL to the domestic market.

In a separate order issued by the ministry of mines, SAIL has also been allowed to dispose of the old stock of 70 Million Tonnes of low grade iron fines and ores (including slime), lying dumped across different captive mines of SAIL. Necessary permission will have to be taken from the States, where the mines are located (Odisha, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh). 

Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan while lauding the initiative said, “Ensuring raw material security for Indian steel industry has been at the top of our agenda. Our government has taken several efforts towards this and the orders passed by the ministry of mines is an important step in this direction”