‘Review iron ore, coal mining policy’

Himalayan News Service

New Delhi, June 12:

A leading industry lobby has urged the government to review the iron ore and coal mining policy, with domestic demand speedily outstripping availability even as exports are being encouraged. Demand for coking coal is expected to go up from 30 million tonnes to 80 million tonnes by 2020, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) said in its ‘Policy Prescription for Mining Sector’ released today. The paper has pointed out that India currently produces around 120 million tonnes of iron ore, of which more than 50 per cent of good quality ore is exported. “As a result, the domestic needs are never met which often lead to escalation in prices of products like steel,” said Assocham president Mahendra K Sanghi while releasing the report. India has only 13-14 million tonnes of iron ore reserves as compared to around 50 million tonnes in Australia, Brazil and Russia. The proven reserves of prime coking coal are only 4.6 million tonnes.