Vedanta Resources-owned natural resources firm Sesa Sterlite expects to restart iron ore mining in Goa in 2015, after the country’s top court lifted a 19-month ban in April this year.

Sesa had hoped to restart mining in September and Vedanta Resources CEO Tom Albanese was quoted by Reuters as saying: "Based on recent public comments by the Government of Goa, it’s now probably realistic to assume mining to start by January to February at the earliest.

"Amidst low export revenue and high taxes within [India], it is very difficult for these miners to sustain operational profits."

"There is an urgent need to eliminate the export duty, which represents an economic barrier to mining in the current low price environment for low-grade iron ore fines."

Mining was halted in September 2012 in Goa as part of a clampdown on illegal mining. The export duty, along with falling prices of iron ore across the world and the recent ban on mining, has made it difficult for Goa to resume mining operations.

India is planning to raise the royalty on iron ore from the existing 10% to 15%, which is expected to add more pressure on smaller miners in Goa.

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By GlobalData

India-based consultancy OreTeam research head Prakash Duvvuri said: "Amidst low export revenue and high taxes within the country, it is very difficult for these miners to sustain operational profits."

The prices of iron ore have fallen by 40% this year to around $80 a tonne.