Sesa Goa awaits reprieve on iron ore export ban

Suresh P. Iyengar Mumbai | Updated on November 13, 2017


Sesa Goa expects the impasse over ban on iron ore exports from Karnataka to end in the first half of February.

Mr P.K. Mukherjee, Managing Director, told Business Line that the Supreme Court has made it clear that the ban cannot be imposed permanently to curb illegal mining and has asked the State Government to form a new policy.

The latter must respond when the case comes up for hearing in the first week of next month.

Karnataka had banned iron ore exports from 10 ports in July and stopped transportation to other ports (for exports), citing a drive against illegal mining and the need to preserve the raw material for local use.

A petition against the State's diktat was filed in the Supreme Court by the miners in November after the High Court rejected their plea.

Sesa Goa, one of the largest exporters, has reported a 26 per cent drop in ore exports at 7,00,000 tonnes (9,50,000 tonnes) from Karnataka. Likewise, its exports from Goa and Orissa fell by 18 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.

With little success in renewing its Orissa mining licence, the company is taking stock of its assets, which include a railway siding, two railway rakes, housing colony for employees and facilities at the Haldia port.

New Plant Plans

Sesa Goa now plans to set up a steel plant either in Jharkhand or Orissa.

“We are in the process of acquiring land and will decide on the investment depending on the capacity and technology to be used,” said Mr Mukherjee.

The company has earmarked investment of Rs 2,000 crore next fiscal to enhance iron ore production in Karnataka and Goa. It will wrap up its Rs 700-crore outlay to set up a pig iron and metallurgical coke plant in Goa by the end of this fiscal.

On the open offer for acquiring Cairn India shares, Mr Mukherjee said the company would tap the market and internal accruals to fund the $3-billion outlay.

As of December 31, Sesa Goa had cash and cash equivalents of Rs 8,229 crore (excluding inter-corporate deposits of Rs 1,000 crore), consisting of Rs 7,250 crore in mutual funds and Rs 979 crore in fixed deposits and cash with banks.

The company reported a 29 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 1,068 crore (Rs 830 crore) on 19 per cent rise in sales at Rs 2,250 crore (Rs 1,889 crore) during the December quarter.

The Sesa Goa scrip was down 1.30 per cent at Rs 325.95 on the BSE on Tuesday.

Published on January 25, 2011

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