India set to become net iron-ore importer – by Ajoy K Das ( – October 9, 2019)

KOLKATA ( – India is poised to become a net importer of iron-ore during the next financial year, as the domestic market shifts from surplus to deficit.

Supply-side disruptions could lead to an estimated deficit of about 50-million tons during 2020/21, forcing imports of between 25-million and 30-million tons a year.

According to the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), state governments of iron-ore-bearing states were scheduled to put up for auction 48 iron-ore blocks where mining leases were expiring on March 31, 2020.

However, with delays in holding the auction process looming large, the domestic iron-ore market was critically poised to enter a deficit market over the next few months. “We are facing a bleak situation. If we cannot produce, we will have to import,” FIMI secretary general R K Sharma said.

“This year, everybody is trying to extract as much as they can. But we don’t know what will happen after March 31, 2020,” he said. Since the Mines and Mineral (Regulation and Development) Act (MMDRA) was promulgated in 2015, auctions had been made mandatory for the allocation of all mineral assets.

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