Trade body Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) petitioned the Indian government this week to end the export tax on bauxite ore, noting that lifting the tariff would boost bauxite mining and provide much-needed jobs to the Indian economy.
In a debate over the proposed budget by the legislature’s finance committee, FIMI said that the bauxite tariff was holding the country back from being a major bauxite supplier.
“The export duty of 15 per cent on bauxite is detrimental to the Indian non- metallurgical bauxite producers and exporters […] This Federation therefore request for complete withdrawal of export duty on exports of bauxite.”
India currently has sufficient domestic bauxite ore supplies to meet its own needs, said FIMI. Alumina refineries in the country are either fed by captive bauxite mines or purchase bauxite ore from domestic sources. India’s bauxite reserves that are currently being tapped in the east and center of the country are generally plant grade.
However, West Coast bauxite stores are of a high silica and low alumina content and are thus not of use to the country’s alumina refineries. That bauxite can be used by refineries in other countries that are equipped for such feedstock and can also be used in the production of cement.
FIMI noted that ending the export tariff would not only put more miners back to work, it would also employ scores of people to ship the bauxite ore abroad. Bauxite exports would also generate more tax revenue and help balance out India’s trade deficit.
India was a significant bauxite ore supplier prior to the government’s imposition of a 15-percent export tax, which effectively killed bauxite exports by making the practice economically unsound.