Goa government saddled with 11 million mt of low grade iron ore fines

Wednesday, 16 May 2018 15:43:22 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

The government of the western Indian state of Goa is saddled with 11 million mt of iron ore fines, predominantly of low grade, and with very few options for its disposal, government sources said on Wednesday, May 16.

The burden of the low grade stocks held by the government followed a court order that overruled the Goa government’s decision that local miners could transport the iron ore fines that had been mined before the Supreme Court order closing down all mining operations in Goa effective as of March 15, 2018, the sources said.

The Goa government had permitted transportation of such stocks only on condition that miners paid the government royalties before transportation and sales of production mined before March 15, the sources said.

However, with a court overruling the government decision, the state of Goa is left saddled with about 7 million mt of iron ore fines within mining leasehold areas for which no royalty has yet been paid and another 4 million mt outside the mining leasehold area for which royalties have already been deposited, the sources said.

The court order said that the Goa government is currently the "custodian" of the stocks and should dispose it off within the next four weeks and that the sale proceeds should be utilized for “local welfare projects including restoration of environment affected by mining.”

However, the Goa government sources said that, with no international buyers interested in low grade iron ore fines, particularly traders representing Chinese steel mills, the government is in a bind over disposing such stocks as per the court order.

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