New Delhi: In the wake of Supreme Court’s interim stay on iron ore mining in Odisha by companies whose leases have expired, Steel Authority of India (SAIL) today said it has sufficient stocks to run its plants.

“We have sufficient stock to sustain our plant operations for the time being and thus there is no cause of any worry on this count,” SAIL Chairman C S Verma said in a statement.

Last week, the apex court had ordered interim stay on the iron ore mining in Odisha by companies whose lease agreements had expired and were not renewed by the state government.

The Supreme Court also directed the state government to consider and dispose of all renewal applications within six months.

The suspension on mining impacts two major mines of SAIL. While the Bolani mine used to supply iron ore to its Durgapur plant, production from the Barsua mine used to feed Rourkela Steel plant. It also impacts operations at its Kalta mine, but this a very small one.

“Steps required for expediting the approvals of renewal of mining leases by the state government have been speeded up,” Verma said.

As a result of the apex court’s order, operations of 26 leases including SAIL and Tata Steel would remain suspended.
Tata Steel, which is likely to be the worst hit by the order, did not offer any comment.

The company reportedly secures 75 per cent of its iron ore requirement from Odisha to feed its Jamshedpur facility, which has around 10 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel-making capacity.

It roughly requires 1.6 mt iron ore to produce one mt steel.

Apart from SAIL and Tata Steel, the order impacts operations of other mining and metal firms such as Odisha Minerals Development Company and Essel Mining and Industries. This will roughly impact 30 mtpa iron ore production from the state.

Free Press Journal