New Delhi — India is on track to hit a nine-year high in iron-ore production as independent miners extract more of the steel-making raw material before their leases expire in 2020. The country is set to produce as much as 210Mt in the financial year to March 31, RK Sharma, secretary-general at the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries, said in New Delhi. That would make it the highest output since 2009-2010, when it produced 219Mt. Iron-ore output is set to cross 200Mt for the second year running as the country’s economic growth drives demand for steel and producers rush to expand plants. Independent miners, or those without their own mills and who sell their output in the market, are also ramping up production ahead of a 2020 deadline to hand their mines back to the government for reauctioning under India’s new mining policy. “We are still analysing what will happen after 2020,” Sharma said. India embraced competitive auctions in 2015 as the best long-term approach to clamp down ...

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