10 percent fall in Odisha iron ore production

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2013 13:20 hrs

Bhubaneswar, March 6 (IANS) Odisha's iron ore production is likely to fall by 10 percent in the financial year ending March 2014 due to restrictions and crackdown on illegal mining, an official said here Wednesday.

The state produced about 72 million tonnes and 66 million tonnes of iron ore in fiscal 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. "This financial year, the production would be at around 60 million tonnes," the official told IANS.

The production could drop mainly because of several restrictions the government has imposed.

Besides, the state has put a cap on iron ore output in the two highest-producing areas of Joda in Keonjhar district and Koira in Sundargarh district.

Production has been capped at a total of 52 million tonnes in these two regions, he said.

Similarly, the iron ore exports from the state was 16 million tonne and 10 million tonnes in fiscal 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 respectively.

It could drop by one-third to seven lakh tonnes because of growing domestic demand and higher export duty, he said.

Investigations into illegal mining in the state by various agencies started after some politicians alleged in July 2010 that some mines were operating without licences.

The official claimed the government has taken several measures in the past years to check illegal mining.

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