UPDATE 2-India needs to scrap iron ore export tax as prices sink-miner Sesa

miércoles 8 de octubre de 2014 04:14 GYT

* Vedanta CEO says export tax an "economic barrier to mining"

* Sesa says to resume mining in Goa by January to February (Adds industry comments, background)

By Krishna N Das and Manolo Serapio Jr

NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE, Oct 8 (Reuters) - India needs to swiftly remove a tax on iron ore exports, the country's top private miner of the commodity said, calling the duty an "economic barrier" in the face of falling global prices.

The country's iron ore shipments have already slowed to a trickle after a ban on mining in key producing states, with a 30 percent tax on exports making it even more difficult to sell to a world market where prices have sunk 40 percent this year.

"There is an urgent need to eliminate the export duty, which represents an economic barrier to mining in the current low price environment for low grade iron ore fines," Tom Albanese, chief executive of Vedanta Resources that controls India's Sesa Sterlite Ltd, told Reuters in an email.

Sesa hopes to restart mining in Goa early next year after a decision by the Supreme Court in April 2014 to lift a 19-month mining ban in the state aimed at weeding out illegal miners.

But with global iron ore prices sliding, it makes more sense for miners there to sell to local steelmakers than export. Mining curbs have also forced some Indian steel producers to import iron ore.

The problem is that the iron ore produced in Goa is of little use to Indian steelmakers, many of whom lack the sophisticated plants needed to process the low-grade material.   Continuación...