India neither has scarcity of iron ore nor is such a problem likely to surface by 2020 when the country’s steel production is estimated to reach 100 million tonne (MT) annually, Mines Minister Dinsha Patel said today.

“Our steel production is around 67-70 MT. It requires 1.6 MT iron ore to produce one MT steel. We had 210 MT iron ore production in 2010, but it came down to 167 MT following the ban on mining in Karnataka. There is no dearth of iron ore,” Patel told reporters on the sidelines of an event here.

The Minister said there would be no dearth of iron ore in even in 2020 when India’s annual steel production is slated to reach to 100 MT.

Iron ore production of the country is on the wane with the imposition of ban on mining in Karnataka about 18 months ago and subsequently in Goa from October.

The ban on mining has impacted India’s iron ore exports resulting in a staggering 68.27 per cent dip in shipments during the April-January period of the current fiscal to 163.47 lakh tonne.

In fact, there was not a single month during the first 10 months of the fiscal when exports were in the positive terrain. In January, exports plummeted 85.54 per cent to 7.96 lakh tonne, compared to 55.04 lakh tonne a year ago.

Courtesy: cnbc tv18 budget 2013