Harnessing Technology to Bring Transparency and Efficiency in Iron Ore Management & Transportation

The mining of iron ore is integral to the global economy. Metallic iron, extracted from iron ore is the primary ingredient used in the production of steel – a material that finds extensive application across industries such as construction, automobiles, machinery, and many more.

India is bestowed with large reserves of iron ore. Globally, India ranks 4th in the production of iron ore after China, Australia and Brazil, and is also one of the world’s biggest exporters of iron ore. According to data from the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI), India produced over 200 million tons of iron ore in 2017-18. The country’s major deposits of iron ore are located in the states of Karnataka, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jharkhand. Rising global prices and the surge in demand for this precious ore from countries like China brought about an iron ore mining boom in India in the early 2000s, much of which was illegal. Millions of tons of ore were mined without licenses, outside of leased areas, and transported illegally – putting the environment and ecology at a high risk, while also causing revenue losses to the exchequer.

Goa is India’s top iron ore exporting state, responsible for about 55% of the country’s total iron ore export. Most of the iron ore produced in the state is exported to China. On an average, about 20-25 million tonnes of iron ore was exported from the state every year, with a record 54 million tons exported in 2010-2011. However, in 2012, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on iron ore mining and export from the state on account of rampant illegal mining operations. A report published by the commission set up to probe the scale of illegal mining, estimated the loss to the State exchequer at a whopping INR 35,000 crore between 2000 and 2012. Activists also noted that unregulated and uncontrolled mining activity, especially in forest and eco-sensitive areas put tremendous pressure on the state’s resources – causing severe air and water pollution, and loss of bio-diversity. Only by bringing visibility and transparency into iron ore transportation operations, would it be possible for the government to track mining activities outside of leased areas, and without mining permits, thereby helping crackdown on such illegal operations.

To prevent exploitation of its valuable iron ore reserves and ensure that mining operations took place in an environmentally sustainable manner, the Goa Mines and Geology Department turned to an IoT-based platform solution developed by Rane t4u, a pioneer organization that enables platform solutions across real-world ecosystems. Implemented since 2013 in Goa, Rane t4u’s Intelligent Minerals Ecosystem Solution is an end-to-end iron ore operations monitoring solution, starting from the source to the end-user, and leaves no room for fraudulence or inefficiency in the iron ore mining and transportation process.

The technology platform offers features such as bifurcation of mineral transporting vehicles from other carriers, integrating movement monitoring with transit permit generation, and much more. Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on iron ore mining in Goa in 2014, the government mandated the registration of all trucks transporting iron ore. Close to 10000 trucks have been registered on Rane t4u’s platform, enabling the authorities to manage the entire mining traffic. Around 100 weigh bridges have been brought online to give detailed monitoring capabilities to the authorities. The system has also been able to partner with the government and the DMF in managing royalties from iron ore mining.

Rane t4u’s Intelligent Minerals Ecosystem Solution offers great value to all the stakeholders involved in the entire iron ore ecosystem of Goa – the government, mining companies, trucks owners, RTO, police, port employees, the District Mineral Fund (DMF) Department and end-users.

Rane t4u’s comprehensive ecosystem solutions have been successfully combining government networks with its world-class IoT technology capabilities to enhance public sector initiatives to deliver greater e¬fficiency, transparency and accountability. Contact us to learn more about our ecosystem solutions for natural resources management.

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