Indian government panel recommends mandatory iron ore beneficiation by miners

Wednesday, 17 August 2022 12:01:25 (GMT+3)   |   Kolkata

An Indian government inter-ministerial committee has recommended mandatory beneficiation of low grade ore produced by merchant miners or captive mines operated by Indian steel mills, a government official said on Wednesday, August 17.

The official said that the panel recommended that merchant and captive mine operators beneficiate a minimum of 80 percent of low grade ore produced annually or face penalties which could include cancellation of mining leases.

In its recommendation, the panel stipulated that every iron ore miner install beneficiation plants that will convert 80 percent of ore with Fe content of less than 58 percent to 62 percent through beneficiation.

It said that the operations of each mine will be audited on a quarterly basis and, in case of a shortfall in beneficiating 80 percent of ore below 58 percent Fe content, the miner will have to pay a royalty and premium payable on high grade ore on the difference between the minimum quantity of iron ore needed to be beneficiated and the actual volume of beneficiation achieved.

If any miner fails to achieve the minimum stipulated level of beneficiation in two consecutive financial years or fails to pay the penalty, it will be liable for cancellation of its mining lease.

According to the panel, each mine operator need not construct a beneficiation plant and instead could offer volumes of low grade ore for value addition to standalone beneficiation plants or those operated by existing miners and having spare capacities.

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