Informed sources indicate that the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) may allow the auction of 6 million tonne (mn t) of iron ore dumps at various mines in Bellary district of Karnataka.
Earlier, the committee visited various mines in the district and estimated that about 6 mn t of dumps could be auctioned. It is learnt that the CEC may allow auction of the dumps after grading them.
After getting approval from CEC, the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee, which is supervising the e-auction of iron ore in the state, would auction the dumps.
It may be recalled that steel makers in Karnataka are facing acute shortage of iron ore because of exhaustion of iron ore stockpile and the proposed auction dumps may ease the shortage.
The monitoring committee has till now auctioned 37 mn t of iron ore. Presently, NMDC is producing about 700,000 tonne per month. The industry requires about 30-35 mn t of iron ore per annum for its current installed capacities.
The steel firms that are the most affected by ore shortage are JSW Steel, Kalyani Steel, BMM Ispat and pellet makers like MSPL.
The monitoring committee is conducting assessment of the iron ore at dumps in various mines where the mine owners had not declared their dumps earlier when they were carrying out mining.