Vedanta’s Iron Ore division has shipped its first load after restarting mining operations at its Codli, Bicholim and Surla mines in the Indian state of Goa.

The company is exporting the initial shipment of 88,000t to China on the Ao Hong Ma vessel.

Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said: "After a blanket ban of three years, the first vessel of Vedanta’s Sesa Goa iron ore is flagged today.

"This achievement of resuming operations after three years of suspension on mining activity has multiple challenges."

"The industry has suffered and so have the people of Goa due to the mining ban. The industry still faces many hurdles of taxation, dumping outside lease area, and increase in production capacity."

Vedanta claims that its iron ore division is to commence operations in Goa after three years of the mining ban.

Vedanta Iron Ore division CEO Kishore Kumar said: "This achievement of resuming operations after three years of suspension on mining activity is with multiple challenges.

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"Iron ore prices are in free fall and are nose-diving. We also are faced with an arduous task of recovering our fixed costs and look forward to a complete utilisation of the manpower and resources."

In the state, the unit expects to mine 5.5Mt of fresh iron ore from its mines.

Most of the low grade ore, not used by domestic steel makers, will be exported by March 2016.

Production capacity allowance from the government is currently capped at 20Mt a year in Goa, with the company seeking to increase it.