India’s Minister of Mines, Dinsha Patel, has called for a lowering of the export duty on low Fe ore fines to enable the commodity that the domestic steel industry does not use to resume being exported.
At present, there is a 30% export duty on both lump ore and fines which the Minister calls to be halved for fines.
The Minister challenges the domestic steel industy’s call for a ban on all ore exports to conserve the raw material for themselves saying that in FY 2010/11, 210Mt of ore was mined of which no more than 110Mt was needed by the domestic steel industry. In 2011/12, the total amount of ore mined fell to 167Mt due to the closure of many mines in Karnataka and Goa. By 2020, steel production was targeted to be 100Mt requiring about 160Mt of ore leaving a surplus for export, in particular of ore fines which are only used to a limited extent by Indian steelmakers who prefer lump ore.