Jajpur: Kalinganagar Industries Association (KNIA) and the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industries of India have given a proposal to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to take steps to bring the mines that have been auctioned but are yet to be made operational under Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
The present crisis faced by the steel plants due to shortage of raw materials could be solved once the mines are brought under the OMC and made operational.
With the price of iron ores being increased inordinately, steel plants not having their own mines are presently at the receiving end. Their employees are worried thinking about their future.
According to available data, iron ore production in the state was 142MT in the financial year 2019-20. In 2020-21, it reduced by 31MT and stood at 111MT. Similarly, 17.4MT iron ore was exported in the financial year 2019-20. In 2020-21, exports increased to 29MT, resulting in a scarcity of 42MT iron ore and an inordinate increase in its price. While the price of iron ore was Rs2,200 a ton in June 2020, it increased to Rs12,000 in June 2021.
The steel plants that have no mines of their own generally depend on the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) for iron ores.
Out of the total production of 111MT iron ores in 2020-21, OMC had produced only 13MT. On the other hand, steel plants owning mines like Tata Steel, SAIL, JSW Steel, ArcelorMittal and JSPL had produced 65MT.
According sources, OMC has to increase its production from 13MT annually to 26MT to make up for the scarcity and and control the price of iron ores.
Some industrial houses have demanded that OMC produce 11MT iron ores annually from its Jiling and Guali mines and 15MT annually from Daitari, Gandhamardan and Koida mines.
At the same time, the industrial houses have expressed their concern over some industries that have been awarded mines in auctions but are yet to start production. The KNIA and Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industries of India have proposed that these mines should be brought under OMC and production be started to tide over the situation.