Vedanta Iron Ore has shipped its first cargo of iron ore after resuming mining operations at its Codli, Bicholim and Surla mines in the Indian state of Goa. The first shipment of 88,000 tonnes has departed for China via the vessel Ao Hong Ma.
Vedanta’s iron ore division is the first iron ore mining company to start operations in Goa after three years due to a ban on mining.
“Vedanta has taken the lead and I am hopeful all other miners will follow suit. After a blanket ban of three years, the first vessel of Vedanta’s Sesa Goa Iron Ore is flagged today. Vedanta took the initiative and adopted a proactive approach to fulfil their promise. Further, they have kept the workforce motivated during trying times. This is the need of the hour and I wish them great success in their endeavours,” said Goa’s chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar during a ceremony to mark the first shipment.
“The industry has suffered and so have the people of Goa due to the mining ban. The industry still faces many hurdles of taxation, dumping outside lease area and increase in production capacity. The need of the hour is the support and cooperation of all other stakeholders, especially the truck and barge owners to work towards attaining complete mining in Goa. I am positive and confident that very soon we will be able to see the mining industry resume business in full swing,” the chief minister said.
He said he would also be asking the central government to remove the 10% duty on the export of minerals.
“This achievement of resuming operations after three years of suspension on mining activity is with multiple challenges. Iron ore prices are in free fall and are nose-diving. We also are faced with an arduous task of recovering our fixed costs and look forward to a complete utilization of the manpower and resources,” said Vedanta Iron Ore CEO Kishore Kumar.
“We are positive that we will overcome the tough times with the support of the government and all other stakeholders of the industry and are well positioned to achieve our production target,” he added.
Vedanta Iron Ore expects to mine 5.5 million tonnes of fresh iron ore from its mines in Goa. The low grade ore is not used by domestic steel makers and most of it will be exported by March 2016.
The company is seeking more production capacity allowance from the government, which is now capped at 20 million tonnes annually in the state. At its peak, Goa’s mining industry was annually exporting 54 million tonnes.
Vedanta Ltd is a diversified natural resources company, whose business primarily involves exploring and processing minerals and oil & gas. The company produces oil & gas, zinc, lead, silver, copper, iron ore, aluminium and commercial power and has a presence across India, South Africa, Namibia, Ireland, Australia, Liberia and Sri Lanka. Vedanta Ltd, formerly Sesa Sterlite, is the Indian subsidiary of Vedanta Resources Plc, a London-listed company.