JSW plant on verge of shutdown as ore supply dries up

JSW Steel's Vijayanagar plant, which accounts for 70 per cent of the company's JSW's total steel output, is likely to shut down in three days as it is running out iron ore, after a Supreme Court ban on mining in Karnataka's Bellary district.

Bellary produces 21 per cent of the country's iron ore. More than half-a-dozen steel companies, producing 14 million tonnes (mt) between them, have been hit by the ban.

''We have three days' iron ore stock left in our inventory. We will have to see what can be done after that,'' said Seshagiri Rao, joint managing director and group chief financial officer of JSW Steel.

Rao did not reveal if his company was trying to tie up for iron ore supplies from companies that source the raw material from other states like Goa, as other companies are reportedly trying to do.

At least 50 per cent of the 16.5 mt iron ore required by the Vijaynagar plant comes from Bellary. Of the rest, 30 per cent is sourced from Chitradurga district and 20 per cent from outside Karnataka.