Steel min for ban on iron ore exports

The steel ministry has recently called for a complete ban on iron ore export, saying the mineral is a non-renewable resource like coal and petroleum products, and should be preserved.

“It will be good to completely ban iron ore exports as these are non-renewable resources. If they are exhausted, there is no getting them back. Iron ore is no way different from coal, gas and petroleum products. Why don’t we export them? You can’t have double standards,” steel secretary Atul Chaturvedi said.

Iron ore is primary input in steel making. India produced about 230 million tonne of iron ore in the last fiscal, of which around 106 million tonne was exported, mainly from China. “Karnataka had recently written for an iron ore exports ban. Now, states have started raising their concern about this. The mining ministry has to take a call on this. We have been saying that iron ore should not be exported,” he said.

Ministries of steel and mines have been at loggerheads over the issue of exports of iron ore, on which the latter has been opposing any move to put a blanket ban on the overseas shipments of the mineral. Mines minster BK Handique had earlier said that banning iron ore exports could render thousands jobless. The mines ministry had also said that the country did not possess technology to make steel from iron ore fines and so exports should continue. Miners mainly export iron ore from China, which is technically equipped to make steel from the powdery variant of iron ore.

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