Export Scenario:

Orissa is renowned as the home of exquisite natural resources like iron ore, manganese, bauxite and other minerals not only for decades but for centuries. Iron ore fines is a by-product of different iron ore mines at the time of excavation. Earlier these fines were dumped as useless along with over burden. With the rising demand in steel production and the advent of new technology to convert ore to steel, iron ore fines are used as a raw material for steel production. China is the pioneer in developing a technology to convert iron ore fines to steel and sourcing it from various countries including India. Out of total export of iron ores, fines account for more than 80% of the total minerals export.

More than 70% of Orissa’s iron ore production is in the form of fines having limited domestic demand. Out of the total 70% fines, 60 % are produced directly from different mines and another 10-12 %is derived from the crusher plants or conversion plants located for calibrating the lump ores.

The fines cannot be directly charged in the blast furnace for steel-making. They have to go through the process of agglomeration. The preferred way of agglomeration is pelletisation, but there are problems in setting up pellet plants in our country due to low gas availability and high fuel cost.

As users of iron ore fines in our country are very less, the demand for it is also low making it a cheap mineral in comparison to calibrated iron ore. Hence, export of iron ore fines is an obvious option for all industrial houses dealing with iron ores.

Export of iron ore(column)

SL NOName of CountryProduction Qty In Mt
1 China 422.70
2 Japan 116.20
3 USA 98.60
4 Russia 70.80
5 S.Koria 48.50
6 Germany 47.20
7 India 44.00
8 Ukraine 40.90
9 Italy 31.60
10 Brazil 30.90

Global crude steel Production: 1244.2 million tonnes (mT) Source: IISI 2006
 

As per Indian Minerals Yearbook 2008, Govt. of India, Ministry of Mines, Published by Indian Bureau of Mines

Production of Iron Ore 2005-2006 to 2007-2008 (By States) :
STATES2005-20062006-20072007-2008
QTYVALUEQTYVALUEQTYVALUE
INDIA TOTAL 165 108,039 188 142,043 206 184,954
LUMPS 68 49207 88 75495 92 96489
FINES 93 53523 98 65930 114 87975
CONCENTRATES 4 5309 1 618 1 490
ORISSA TOTAL 52 36033 64 48070 69 62523
LUMPS 29 21866 38 33740 40 46660
FINES 23 14167 26 14329 29 15863
Qty in Million Tonnes & Value in Million
Production of Iron ore Fines 2006-07 ( By state/grades) :
STATESNO OF MINES
BELOW 62% FE62-65% FE65% & ABOVETOTALVALUE
ORISSA 2887 14527 8464 25878 14329
Qty in Million Tonnes & Value in Million
Qty and Value of Iron Ore production in different states 2007-08:
 
 
  • Exports to China has increased due to surge in demand
  • More than 90% of exports comprise of iron ore fines
  • Low demand of iron ore fines in Indian segment
  • 108% growth in export since 2002-03.

Iron Ore – Future Perspective

  • Desired Strategies:
  • Speedy renewal of existing mining leases.
  • Grant of new mining leases.
  • Environmental & Forestry Clearances in fixed time frame.
  • Incentives for value addition to iron ore fines.
  • Encouragement for scientific and large scale mining.
  • Utilization of tailings/slimes.

Management of Iron Ore – Key Issues

  • Infrastructure requirement
  • Management of iron ore from 160 mT to 360 mT by 2020.
  • This enhancement of iron ore transportation would require:
  • Need for high capacity wagons.
  • Investments for promoting dedicated rail linkages.
  • Laying of new railway lines.
  • Creating a better rail network for existing & upcoming steel plants.

CONCLUSION

  • No immediate threat
  • Regulate the flow of iron ore
  • Expeditious implementation of the recommendations of the Expert Committee
  • Establish new resources
  • Conservation of mineral
Top Steel-producing Companies
COMPANYRANKPRODUCTION(mT)
Arcelor Mittal 1 117.2
Nippon Steel 2 32.7
JFE 3 32
POSCO 4 30.1
Baosteel 5 22.5
U.S. Steel 6 21.2
Nucor 7 20.3
Tangshan 8 19.1
Corous Group 9 18.3
Riva Group 10 18.2
Comparison for grant of ML with other countries
 IndiaWestern AustraliaCanadIndonesia
Ownership Center & Federal Fedeal State Fedeal State Central Government
Time for grant of ML 7-8 Years About 12-24 months 12-36 months Max. 2 Years
No. of agency involved 10 4 3 -
Terms of Mining Leases 30 Years 21 Years Min. 20 Years 30 Years