Former Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese says India iron ore industry ‘complicated’ – by Amanda Saunders (Sydney Morning Herald – November 24, 2015)

Oversupply might have helped push the iron ore price down to near decade lows but Australian miners can breath easy on former Rio Tinto boss Tom Albanese’s call that former industry heavyweight India is unlikely to emerge as a major exporter any time soon.

Iron ore fell to $US44.10 on Monday night, within 10¢ of the 10-year low of $US44.10 it hit in July.

India is one of the great unknowns in iron ore. What is clear is that steel demand in India, while maybe not holding the same trajectory as China, is on the rise, Delhi-based Mr Albanese said.

But India’s iron ore industry is likely to be held back by conflicts with farmers, protectionism and scale problems, even as demand for its product rises, he said.

The iron ore industry in India is “complicated” by huge population and “interaction with communities, existing towns and agriculture, which would more resemble the interaction between coal miners in the Hunter Valley and the farmers, than it would the Pilbara”, he said.

Mr Albanese last year took the helm of London-listed resources firm Vedanta, which has most of its assets in India.

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