Future Development Program of Indian iron ore mining
The tenth five year plan has projected the iron ore demand of the country at about 122 million tonnes by 2006 – 07 and 156 million tonnes by 2011 – 12. Though, India has already achieved 172.296 million tonnes (Provisional) during 2006-07. With the total demand of iron ore likely to increase to 290 million tonnes by 2019-20 (as per National Steel Policy, 2005), both on account of domestic requirements (190 million tonnes) and export (100 million tonnes), capacity of around 305 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) is required at 95% capacity utilisation by 2019-20. The country has planned for capacity expansion on a large scale from its existing mines and development of new mines. Apart from expansion plans of present iron ore mines in all the sectors, development of following identified hematite and magnetite deposits/mines are envisaged for further exploration wherever required, and exploitation by interested parties from within or outside the country.
The additional capacity is expected to come from the following sectors:
1. From Bellary – Hospet sector, if consolidation of the leases is attempted and suitable size mechanised mine operations are started by developing new deposits, it is possible to increase the existing capacity.
2. From Bailadila region, opening up of Deposit No. 10 & 11A, 1, 4, 11B & 13 and improving the operating capacity & expansion of existing mines in Bailadila Sector may enhance the capacity.
3. Eastern region has the maximum share of the total iron ore resources in India. Capacity of this sector is proposed to be increased from the existing level. This can be achieved by improving the excavation arrangement through better infrastructure facilities and capacity expansion from the Eastern Sector mines including the mines of Bolani, Kiriburu, Meghahatuburu, Barsua, Kalta, Chiria, Thakurani, Taldih, TISCO, Jindal, Rungta, ESSEL Mining and other private mine owners.
4. In Goa – Redi region, the present capacity has already been enhanced. According to experts, consolidation in this area may help to produce an additional 3 to 5 MTPA.
5. In Karnataka, less than 800 MT of proven reserves of Magnetite deposit in Bababudan area can be tapped after overcoming the environmental hurdles.
In general, to meet the increased requirement, the existing production will have to be expanded in mines like Bolani and new mines will have to be opened up in Chiria in Jharkhand, Rowghat and other deposits of Bailadila in Chattisgarh, Malangtoli in Orissa, Ramandurg in Karnataka. Thus it would be possible to meet the increased requirement by the year 2019 – 2020 provided action is taken to improve the railway line infrastructure and the port infrastructure in Paradeep, Chennai and Goa, which will help in increasing export of the surplus medium and low grade materials. It may be noted that India has already achieved 172.296 MT (Provisional) iron ore production during 2006 – 07. However, during the next decade some of the large mines like Kudremukh already closed and iron ore reserve in some mines like Kiriburu, Meghahatuburu, Rajhara and Dalli will deplete.