May 17, 2020

SURVEY: Iron Ore Records Negative Growth in India Due to Mining Ban

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2 min
[SURVEY] Iron Ore Records Negative Growth in India Due to Mining Ban
The ban on iron ore exports in India has resulted in a less-than-stellar outcome. Iron-ore cargo recorded negative growth of 13 percent in 2013-13 due t...

The ban on iron ore exports in India has resulted in a less-than-stellar outcome. Iron-ore cargo recorded negative growth of 13 percent in 2013-13 due to the domestic mining ban on the mineral, according to the Economic Survey.

The restrictions placed on iron ore mining in India have resulted in a shortage of the mineral, leading to large-scale import of the product from overseas.

“This is an irony that India has to import iron ore in spite of having large iron ore resources,” said JSW Steel Ltd, one of the largest steel companies in India.

“Indian steel manufacturers are losing out the most comparative advantage of availability of local iron ore and are constrained to resort to imports denting the competitiveness of steel manufacturing in India.”

The good news is container traffic at ports grew five percent to 980.49 million tons.

"The traffic in iron ore recorded negative growth of 13 per cent primarily owing to a ban on mining iron ore," the pre-Budget Survey for 2013-14 said.

In April, the Supreme Court allowed an annual cap of 20 million tons of iron ore to be extracted in Goa. The state has banned iron ore for nearly one-and-a-half years.

Major and non-major ports in India accomplished a 5 percent increase in 2013-14 as total cargo output was roughly 980.49 million tons.

"This is due to an increase of 1.8 percent or 555.49 million tons in the cargo handled at major ports," the survey said.

Traffic at non-major ports grew at around 9.6 percent during 2013-14, rising to 425 million tons.

During 2013-14, Enroe Port recorded the highest growth in traffic at 52.9 percent and mrmugao the lowest at 33.7 percent.

India has 12 major ports – Kolkata-Halida, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Ennore, Chennai, V O Chidambaranar, Kochi, New Mangalore, Mormugao, Mumbai, Jawaharlal Nehru (JNPT) and Kandla. 

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Jul 20, 2021

British Lithium Pressured Due To Calls for Electric Cars

3 min
The ever-increasing need for electric vehicles is mounting pressure on British Lithium as the 2035 deadline inches closer

The British demand for lithium is set to reach 75,000 tonnes by 2035 as the government works towards their ban on the sale of high-polluting diesel and petrol vehicles within the UK. This comes as automakers worldwide continue to insist on the benefits electric vehicles will have on slowing the rate of climate change. 

It is estimated that the UK will require 50,000-60,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year by 2035 for battery production to satisfy government needs. This is assuming production remains at 1.2 million vehicles per year, and the amount of lithium required does not increase.

British Lithium, which hopes to begin constructing a quarry to produce 20,000 MT of lithium carbonate a year in a $400 million investment, are not without competitors, both within the UK and abroad. 

Competition For Lithium Rises In Europe 

After only five years after its initial launch, Cornish Lithium is setting its sights on becoming a UK powerhouse in mining lithium, aiming to begin commercial production in under four years. Jeremy Wrathall, a former investment banker and current managing director of Cornish Lithium, had the future in mind when founding the company. 

“In 2016, I started to think about the electric vehicle revolution and what that would mean for metal demand, and I started to think about lithium,” he said in an interview with AFP. “A friend of mine mentioned lithium being identified in Cornwall, and I just wondered if that was a sort of unrecognised thing in the UK.”

Lithium was first discovered in Cornwall around 1864 and has not been mined again since 1914 when it was produced as an ingredient in fireworks. Now, however, Cornish Lithium is reportedly in the testing stage to see if the metal can be produced commercially to meet the growing demand required for the electric car sector. 

Despite Cornwall’s close historic ties to mining lithium, Wrathall insists that the project is purely commercial. 

Cornish Mining Revival For Lithium Production

“It’s not a mission that drives me to the point of being emotional or romantic,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we do get this technology otherwise Europe has got no lithium supply.”

The European Commission has also stated their goal to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035 to aid the environment. That being said, the majority of lithium extraction currently relies on power provided by environmentally damaging fossil fuels─a slight contradiction. 

Alex Keynes, from the Brussels-based lobby group Transport & Environment, is adamant that mining for lithium should be done sustainably. 

“Our view is that medium-to-long term, the majority of materials including lithium should come from efficient and clean recycling.

“Europe from a strategic point of view should be looking at securing its own supply of lithium.”

Despite growing competition from abroad, British Lithium Chairman, Roderick Smith, continues to place importance on the mining of lithium within the UK. 

“Imagine what the UK economy would look like if we lost our automotive industry,” Smith says. “The stakes are high for the UK.”

Smith expects the UK to compete with other European countries to secure a lithium battery plant in the near future.

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