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Sesa hopes to restart mining in Karnataka in current quarter

PTI 11 Nov 2014, 17:13:59 PM IST

New Delhi: Sesa Sterlite today said it hopes to restart iron ore mining in Karnataka during the current quarter even as it is awaiting environment clearance from the Centre and renewal of lease by the state.

The company, owned by billionaire NRI Anil Agarwal, was allowed by the Supreme Court to resume operation from the mine in last December with a cap of 2.29 million tonnes production.

"The renewal of the lease has already been delayed. The lease renewal will be executed by the state government. It can happen after the clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. We are hoping to start the mine in this quarter," said A N Joshi, Vice President (Corporate Affairs), Sesa Sterlite.

Following the lifting of ban on mining by the Supreme Court, production from the mine restarted in December last year. Till September this year, Sesa Sterlite has produced 1.8 million tonnes of iron ore, the steel-making raw material, and sold 1.08 million tonnes.

During the July-September quarter of the current fiscal, Sesa Sterlite produced 0.3 million tonnes and sold 0.6 million tonnes from the mine in Chitradurga.

"The mine is neither producing nor selling iron ore since August 2014 and is awaiting forest clearance and mining lease renewal, which is expected to be received in third quarter. Overall, we expect to produce our provisional annual capacity of 2.29 million tonnes during the year," Joshi said.

The mine used to produce around 6 million tonnes of iron ore in a year before the ban was imposed. Sesa Sterlite has also iron ore leases in Goa and Liberia in Africa.