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Tata Steel Restarts Iron Ore Mine

Tata Steel Restarts Iron Ore MineTata Steel Restarts Iron Ore Mine

Tata Steel Ltd. restarted one of its biggest iron ore mines in India, four months after the nation’s top producer was ordered to suspend operations pending lease renewal.

The company yesterday began mining at its Noamundi tenement in the eastern state of Jharkhand, spokesman Chanakya Chaudhary said in response to an e-mail query. Mumbai-based Tata Steel expects to reach the mine’s full capacity by start of next week, he said.

The shortage resulting from mine closures in the state and in neighboring Odisha had prompted the company to boost iron ore imports in the year ending March 31, raising input costs of the key steelmaking ingredient. The company has bought a record 2.2 million metric tons of iron ore overseas since April, Managing Director T.V. Narendran said in an earnings press conference in November.

Tata Steel shares rose 1.6 percent to 410.75 rupees at the close in Mumbai. The benchmark BSE S&P Sensitive Index rose 1.4 percent.

Profitability in the last quarter was hampered by a shortage of iron ore, it said in a statement on Dec. 29. While mining started in four Odisha mines on Dec. 15 after a month’s suspension, the Jharkhand mine remained closed. The state’s top court on Dec. 11 ordered the local government to allow mining to restart at Noamundi, which produced about 40 percent of Tata’s 17 million tons of local output.

On Dec. 31, Tata Steel received an order from the state government to resume mining, said Chaudhary. Operations restarted the following day, he said.

Financialtribune.com