* Iron ore production to resume after court ruling
* Companies need to secure permission first
* Goa supply to add to global surplus of iron ore
(Adds comments from Sesa Sterlite, details)
By Siddesh Mayenkar
MUMBAI, April 22 Mining in India's top iron
ore-exporting state of Goa is likely to restart in January next
year once all companies have obtained environment and forest
clearances from the federal government, a state government
source said on Tuesday.
India's Supreme Court lifted a 19-month old ban on mining in
Goa on Monday, although it capped annual output in the state at
20 million tonnes. More supply from Goa, which exports nearly
all its output, is likely to add to an expected surplus in the
world market and put downward pressure on prices .IO62-CNI=SI
The ban was imposed in 2012 as part of a drive to curb
illegal mining. It was lifted on the recommendation of a panel
appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the mining industry.
"Mining won't start so soon... it should start somewhere in
January 2015 because of processing and other formalities," the
source, who handles mining in the state, told Reuters. "Mines
will have to comply with forest and environmental clearances."
The restart of mining activity will also be delayed by the
four-month Indian monsoon season that begins in June, he said.
A ban on production and exports in Goa, coupled with similar
curbs enforced earlier in neighbouring Karnataka, have sliced
India's iron ore exports by 85 percent, or 100 million tonnes,
over the past two years. India was once the third-largest
exporter of iron ore, but has now slipped to No. 10.
The resumption of supply from Goa will add to an expected
glut of iron ore as big companies such as Rio Tinto and
BHP Billiton boost production, while demand from top
consumer China slows.
Sesa Sterlite Ltd, India's largest private iron
ore miner which extracts all of its ore from the state, said no
mining operations could be carried out until it obtained renewal
of its mining lease permission from the Goa state government.
The company is working to secure permission to start
operations at the earliest, Sesa, a unit of London-listed
Vedanta Resources Plc, said in a statement.
Its shares ended nearly 4 percent lower on Tuesday in a
flat Mumbai market, having risen as much as 7.4 percent on
Monday after the Supreme Court verdict.
(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Sumeet Chatterjee
and Mark Trevelyan)