NEW DELHI, Oct 8 (Reuters) - India's Sesa Sterlite Ltd said iron ore mining in the state of Goa may resume by January to February, a later-than-expected start that will restrict the country's exports of the steel-making raw material to the lowest level in decades.
Sesa is India's top private iron ore mining company with most of its operations in Goa, the biggest iron ore exporting state where no mining has taken place since September 2012 due to action against illegal mining.
"Based on recent public comments by the government of Goa, it's now probably realistic to assume mining to start by January to February at the earliest," Tom Albanese, chief executive of Vedanta Resources that controls Sesa, told Reuters in an email late on Tuesday.
This indicates a four- to five-month delay versus initial expectations for a restart in September.
Albanese added that India's high export duty amid record low prices for iron ore was an "economic barrier to mining". (Reporting by Krishna N Das; Editing by Himani Sarkar)