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Odisha to auction seven more mineral blocks in December

The blocks will be auctioned after receipt of reports on exploration from the MECL

Jayajit Dash  |  Bhubaneswar 

Odisha to auction seven more mineral blocks in December

The government has lined up seven more for auctions in this financial year. These include five iron ore, one limestone and one graphite block slated to be auctioned in December this year.
The blocks will be auctioned after receipt of reports on exploration from the Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL). The state has hitherto auctioned five — three and one each of limestone and manganese. Essar Steel, Bhushan Steel Ltd and Bhushan Power Ltd have bagged one block each. The sole limestone block has gone to Dalmia Cement whilst mine developer cum operator Thriveni Earthmovers Ltd has got the manganese ore block. The combined value of these auctioned assets is estimated at Rs 41,782 crore.

For auctions of minor minerals, the government has already notified the Rules. Under that rules, auction method as well as collection of (District Mineral Foundation) for minor mineral has been adopted. Till date, the state government has realised Rs 2,760 crore under As many as 2,316 projects, costing Rs 818.97 crore, under Pradhan Mantri Khanij Kshetra Kalyan Yojana (PMKKKY) have been identified and till date, Rs 75.39 crore has been spent.

is also gearing up for adoption of the Mining Surveillance System (MSS) and star rating system for minor minerals as well. With 32 mining leases expiring by March 31, 2020, the state government has formed a committee to take stock of their exploration status. A six-monthly reporting system is developed where updates regarding the exploration activities carried out are collected from the lease holders. In total, the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has identified more than 300 mining leases including 48 working leases which are due to expire in 2020. The onus is on the states to prepare plans for facilitating the smooth auctions of such mines.

Since the amendment of the MMDR Act in 2015, 27 major have been successfully auctioned. Going by the value of resources and revenue accruals, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh, account for 90% of value. Total revenue accruals are estimated are at Rs 1.19 lakh crore.

The Geological Survey of India (GSI) has taken up G2 and G3 stage exploration in 2016-17 to facilitate the state governments to take up auction. A total of 82 blocks across various states have been completed in 2016-17, which should be utilized by the states for auctioning them in 2017-18. Further, GSI has taken up 73 blocks for 2017-18.

First Published: Sat, June 24 2017. 17:21 IST