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Mar 27, 2014, 10.02 AM IST | Source: CNBC-TV18

Mining production cap at 20 MTPA in Goa acceptable: FIMI

RK Sharma, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries adds the industry will need permission to export as the Goan iron ore can only be exported and not used domestically since it is low grade. The iron ore produced in Goa has always been 100 percent exported

Macro environmental team appointed by SC said 20 MTPA would be the correct quantity in terms of the macro environment impact on Goa

RK Sharma

Secy Gen

Federation of Indian Mineral Industries

A Supreme Court appointed panel has recommended restricting mining capacity in Goa to 20 million tonne per year though the existing capacity of the sector is 45 million tonne per annum. But RK Sharma, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries says the mining sector will have no choice but to follow the order if directed by the Supreme Court.

He adds that 20 MTPA production from Goa is acceptable to the mining industry. He says the industry will need permission to export as the Goan iron ore can only be exported and not used domestically since it is low grade. The iron ore produced in Goa has always been 100 percent exported, he says.

In Karnataka, since the ban on mining two years ago, mines have taken time to resume due to lease expiry. The production has fallen to sub-20 million tonne in the state. However, Sharma says the onus for recommending and pushing for renewal of lease and clearance from the forest department lies with the state government.

Below is the verbatim transcript of RK Sharma's interview with CNBC-TV18's Latha Venkatesh and Sonia Shenoy

Latha: The Supreme Court (SC) panel has recommended that bringing down the mining capacity to 20 million tonnes in Goa would be appropriate, your views how does it compare with the previous mining that was done in Goa before the ban?

A: When SC has said then we have no other view except to obey the SC advise and their directions. We will limit to 20 million tonnes as directed. But the sector’s capacity is to produce 45 million tonnes and actually this is the recommendation of the survey team - macro environmental team - appointed by SC. They said 20 million tonnes would be the correct quantity in terms of the macro environment impact on Goa so it is okay for us.

Latha: Do you believe the SC whether it will accept the panel’s recommendations or do you see the SC even further tweaking the panel’s recommendations?

A: It is a six member panel, one from the ministry environment and forest, one from the state government and four are independent panelists. So this panel has taken a view of the central government, state government as well as the independent panelists. So this is the broad consensus and it is acceptable to us.

Sonia: So if mining is resumed would you like to see the approval for exports as well keeping in mind it is in the state of Goa?

A: Yes, Goan iron ore can only be exported, it cannot be hugely used in the domestic industry because it is a low grade ore and it doesn’t have domestic demand because the lead to Karnataka will be more. What the Chinese and Japanese do, they blend the Goan iron ore with the Brazilian and Australian ore and they make a feed. So it is never been used in the domestic industry except very minor quantity. Goa has some pallet plant and there some quantity might have been used but it has always been exported 100 percent.

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