New Delhi: The state-owned Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) has sought permission from Odisha and Jharkhand to auction about 70 million tonnes of fines or low-grade iron ore lying at its mines in the two states.
Depending upon the Fe content, the iron ore can fetch a price of $40-62 a tonne.
About 70 metric tonnes of fines which SAIL was unable to use are lying at its mines in Odisha and Jharkhand, a report in BloombergQuint quoted a source as saying.
For steel making, fines can be used through beneficiation and palletisation. However, SAIL does not have enough beneficiation and pelletisation capacity. So, it is not possible for it to consume these low-grade fines/ores for its steel plants.
The source said, “Fines have been accumulated from the starting of SAIL. The company has requested to Odisha and Jharkhand governments to give permission to auction them (fines).”
SAIL is positive about getting the permission, the source said, adding that the two states will give the go-ahead as they will also get some portion of the income generated from the auction.
The idea to auction the unused fines was mooted by the steel ministry, the person said. Commenting about prospective buyers of the iron ore, the source said, “Secondary steel players can buy it and those making pellets would be interested. Besides there are various steel makers who don’t have mines, they can buy it and make metal.”
The country’s largest steelmaker, under the Ministry of Steel, has over 20 captive mines spread across Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal.