The country’s ferro-alloys manufacturers urge the union government to provide access to chromite and manganese ore deposits through auctions in order to raise capacity utilisation and achieve higher exports.
It may be noted that most of the domestic ferro-alloys manufacturers set up after 1991 are without captive mines. They remain largely dependent on supplies of raw materials from government agencies, such as OMC and MOIL.
It is only the established players like Tata Steel, IISCO Steel Plant are getting sufficient ore supplies as they have captive mines. The relatively new players in the industry face shortage of raw material.
India’s total potential output today is 3.16 million tpy of manganese alloys, 250,000 tpy of ferro-silicon, 1.69 million tpy of chrome alloys, and 5,000 tpy of noble ferro-alloys.
India’s Planning Commission wants the country to gradually shift from exporting chrome ore and concentrate to the production of value-added finished ferro-alloys.
Meanwhile, in order to raise output of chrome ore, industry body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) asked Tata Steel's FAMD to focus more on underground mining like its peers OMC, IMFA and FACOR.
RK Sharma, secretary general of FIMI said the Tata Group was engaged in extracting high grade ore from shallow deposits by way of open-cast mining. But it is time they put increasing reliance on underground mining to get ore from the earth’s lower depths, he said.
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