Based on GIS application system, the department of mines and geology has so far digitized 4,500 mining leases in the state

The Karnataka government has embarked on a project to build a geo database on GIS application system for mapping mineralized zones, developing mineral atlas, data on existing leases, which will be helpful to process the mining applications online. The department of mines and geology (DMG) has undertaken this project. Under this project, up to the end of October 2012, the department has completed digitization of 4,500 leases for various minerals in the state, the government said in the Economic Survey of Karnataka for 2012-13.

Together, these mines are allowed to produce 3.3 mt of ore a year, about 10% of the iron ore requirement of steel mills in the state

About 10 months after the Supreme Court had approved the resumption of mining operations by 18 category-A mines, six mines have resumed operations in Karnataka. Together, these mines are allowed to produce 3.3 million tonnes (mt) of ore a year, about 10 per cent of the iron ore requirement of steel mills in the state.

Iron ore supply likely to be disrupted further in Karnataka if panel finds fault with these miners

Supply of iron ore to steel mills in and around Karnataka might be disrupted further if the central empowered committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to probe alleged irregularities of nine mining companies, including Sesa Goa Ltd, finds fault with the firms. The forest bench of the apex court, hearing a fresh interlocutory application (IA) filed by the petitioner in illegal mining, Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS), a Dharwad, Karnataka-based non-government organisation, directed CEC on February 1 to initiate the probe and submit a report to it.

After reducing the prices of iron ore for domestic steel mills in the October-January period, state-owned miner NMDC is considering a price rise in February.

The company’s board is likely to meet next week to decide on the issue. “The company has taken a policy decision to revise iron ore prices every month. In line with the policy, the board would meet early next week,” sources said. They added the rise could be between Rs 200 and Rs 400 a tonne and. It would be based on factors such as demand and supply, prices elsewhere and the recent rise in international prices, they said. In the past two months, prices of iron ore in the international markets have risen significantly. Currently, it is traded at $140-145 a tonne, about 61 per cent higher than in September.

According to a top company official, JSW Steel is trying to feed its blast furnaces with the most inferior raw material for the first time

JSW Steel, which is facing severe shortage of iron ore for its 11-million tonne Vijaynagar steel plant in Bellary district, is planning to experiment with very low-grade and inferior quality ore having iron (Fe) content between 40 and 50 per cent. The company has so far used ore with Fe content up to 52 per cent. Now, for the first time it is trying to feed its blast furnaces with the most inferior raw material, a top company official said. The company is currently operating its Bellary plant at 68 per cent capacity due to poor supply of iron ore.

Steel industry expects availability to fall further in 2013-14, no exports recorded since November

The severe shortage in iron ore supplies from Karnataka and Goa, where mining was stopped following a Supreme Court directive, and the cap on production in Odisha have led to India becoming a net importer of iron ore this financial year. Till 2011, India was the third-largest exporter of iron ore.

Newly-formed corporation will take up Rs 30,000 crore worth of projects to rehabilitate areas damaged by rampant illegal mining

The Karnataka government has proposed to incorporate a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to formulate and implement projects under the Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ). The Supreme Court, on the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), had directed the state government to form the SPV.

SC stipulated that a max of 25 mn tn of iron ore can be extracted annually from Bellary district, 5 mn tn from Chitradurga, Tumkur district

Faced with the constraints on granting new mining leases in view of the cap on extraction of iron ore at 30 million tonne per annum, the Karnataka government has appealed to the Supreme Court to withdraw its order on limiting iron ore production. The state government, in a fresh appeal before the Apex Court recently, stated that the cap of 30 million tonnes per annum from the three mining districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur would jeopardize setting up of new steel mills in the state.

CBI/SIT probe urged against alleged violators, including Sesa Goa, Mysore Minerals

A few mining companies cleared by the Supreme Court to resume mining in Karnataka might have more challenges in store. The primary petitioner in the public interest litigation against illegal mining in the state has filed a fresh application before the apex court that mining be suspended, owing to the alleged violations of various norms.

The SC appointed Monitoring Committee is currently assessing the quantity of iron ore available at these dumps in the three mining districts

The Supreme Court appointed Monitoring Committee, which is supervising the e-auction of iron ore, has planned to put on auction iron ore dumps containing mostly low-grade iron ore. The committee has started assessing the approximate quantity of iron ore available in the dumps at several places in the three mineral rich districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur. The process would be completed in a month’s time and go to Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for an approval to put on e-auction, the sources close to the development said.