CS Gundewar, Controller General of Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) pointed out that India is the fourth largest producer of steel in the world.
At present the country is producing 65 million tonne steel, but as per the National Steel Policy of this figure should reach 180 million tonnes by 2020, he said.
He said there is an urgent need to increase steel production which would require exploration of unmined iron ore deposits.
He said this while speaking at National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)’s National Technology Day.
Speaking on iron ore reserves, he said the country has large resources of iron ore with the estimated capacity of 28.52 billion tonne and hematite and magnetite are the most prominent iron ores found in India in the ratio of 63:37.
He also said magnetite reserves could not be exploited for steel production so far owing to its occurrence in eco-fragile areas of Western Ghats. This could be a reason that export of iron ore has decreased in the recent years, he said.
While iron and steel sector consumes only around 45-50 per cent of the domestic production of iron ore, the remaining ore is exported at present owing to inadequacy of suitable agglomeration facilities (pelletisation in particular), Gundewar said.