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Centre plans to auction 12 mineral blocks in August, September

The NIT (notice inviting tender) for the limestone block was out in April

iron ore

Goan ore

Press Trust of India New Delhi
The government plans to auction 12 mineral blocks, including eight iron ore mines, in the next two months, according to an official document.
Of the 12 blocks to go under the hammer in August and September, three are graphite blocks in Jharkhand, one is a limestone block in Andhra Pradesh and the remaining eight are iron ore mines in Karnataka, the document said.
While the graphite and limestone blocks will be put up for auction next month, the remaining eight blocks would go under the hammer in September.
With regard to the iron ore blocks, only the end-users engaged in the production of sponge, pig iron, steel and pellets will be eligible to take part in the auction, it said.
For the limestone mine auction, both greenfield and brownfield cement plants for captive consumption within the state will be eligible to participate.
In case of the blocks in Jharkhand, the notice inviting tender (NIT) was out in May while in the case of iron ore blocks, the government came out with NIT in January.
The NIT for the limestone block was out in April.
The Centre had earlier said it was considering granting all approvals, including environmental clearance, to mineral blocks before putting them up for sale, a move that may give a push to the auctions.
The statement came soon after Niti Aayog said all approvals concerning the mines should be taken before their auctions.
The government had earlier said unless issues related to green clearances and land rights are addressed upfront, India may not make much progress in auctioning of mineral blocks in the future.
Recently, it has given in-principle approval to provide single clearance for environment and forest to the new leaseholders of the 288 mining leases expiring in two years.
Of the 43 mineral blocks auctioned so far, states concerned will earn a revenue of Rs 1.55 trillion over the lease period.
Work is being carried out in around 102 mineral blocks.

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First Published: Jul 29 2018 | 1:34 PM IST

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