Sesa Iron Ore, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, opened its Bicholm iron ore mining lease in the Indian state of Goa on September 14. This will allow the company to utilize its full annual production allowance of 5.5 million tonnes, as approved by the Goa government.
The Bicholm restart follows the recent resumption of work by Sesa at its Codli mining site in Goa. The two Sesa mines are the largest mining leases in the state and the Codli restart in early August marked the first iron ore production in the state for almost three years.
“Sesa Goa has made significant positive contributions to Goa and the community for more than 50 years and will continue to do so. Our long-term vision is to create a sustainable iron ore mining industry in India which contributes to economic growth of the state and the country,” Sesa Iron Ore CEO Kishore Kumar said.
“More than 85% of Goa’s ore has iron content ranging from 48% to 58%. This ore is not used by the domestic steel industry as evidenced by electronic auctions conducted by the monitoring committee of the Supreme Court, so exports are the only option for marketing,” he said.
Kishore Kumar urged the Goa government to note the current market scenario, where prices have fallen as compared to April last year. “Also, the domestic iron ore industry is taxed at 40% above the line as against the 0.7% to 7% taxation in other competing iron ore exporting countries like Brazil, South Africa and Australia,” he said.
Goa Deputy Speaker Anant Shet said, “I congratulate Vedanta for positively responding to the call given by the Goa Chief Minister to restart mines and taking the risk to commence their business operations despite poor market conditions.”