925 - 11/13 - Update on Iron Ore Cargoes - India

Following several iron ore liquefaction incidents in 2009/2010, and the subsequent banning of many mining operations in India, Members should be aware of the recent  re licensing of 117 mines in the Karnataka region of India. In addition Vizag, one of the main exporting ports for that region and one that does not insist on mandatory condition surveys of cargo, has this year experienced considerable rain fall during the monsoon seasons and is presently about to encounter further inclement weather with cyclone Helen.


Whilst the Club does not necessarily anticipate any problems, Members should warn their Masters to be vigilant as to the condition of iron ore cargoes offered for loading in Vizag and if in any doubt should contact the Club’s correspondent for help.






The Supreme Court , on April 18, 2013, ordered  the cancellation of mining leases of 51 mining companies for carrying out mining illegally outside the lease area in the districts of Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga. The order had followed the report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which had categorized 166 mining leases based in Karnataka, as being in violation of the mining rules. It had classified 45 mining leases under category A, 72 under category B and 49 under category C. 


The general ban against mining operations in the Karnataka region, by the Supreme Court of India (since July, 2011), has partially been lifted. Since April 2013, 117 mines in Categories “A” and “B”  have now been allowed to resume operations.


 Iron ore cargoes from Karnataka are mainly exported from the eastern ports of India like Paradip, Vizag, Haldia and Gangavaram.


Haldia , Paradip, Gangavaram


 Port authorities in Haldia, Paradip, Gangavaram have  introduced mandatory survey procedures for iron ore fines during the monsoon  seasons since 2010 and such mandatory survey requirements continue to be in  place.




The port authorities at Vizag do not insist on surveys and we understand many vessels load there without any surveys at all.


 Vizag has received considerable rain during the south west and north east monsoons this year (the latter which will last until the end of December). In addition a cyclone warning (Cyclone Helen) has been issued recently for the entire Andhra coast and many coastal villages have been evacuated.




The export of iron ore from Goa has been banned by the order of Apex Court.  The interim stay on mining activities imposed almost a year ago in Goa, initially by the state government and then by the Supreme Court on October 5, has significantly impacted state revenues.


The Central Empowered Committee  reporting to the Apex court on forest matters wants a Karnataka like model imposed on Goa's iron ore industry which has been dormant since a inquiry commission claimed irregularities to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore.


On the 11th November the Supreme court has permitted exports of iron ore from Goa, but only for that ore already mined and stockpiled, an increase in ore loadings from this area is anticipated soon.



Source of information:


Capt T Manohar

Pandi Correspondents Pvt Ltd




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