Jharkhand became the first ever state to auction two limestone blocks through an electronic platform after the passage of the MMDR Act by Parliament.
An official at the Union Mines Ministry told PTI that this is the "first ever successful e-auction" of limestone blocks. These blocks have been bagged by cement companies.
A total of 43 blocks -- excluding coal and lignite -- have been identified by various states for e-auction, he said.
According to the official, with the successful e-auction, the process for auctioning blocks in other states is likely to be expedited.
The passage of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act paved the way for auction of mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite etc other than coal and lignite.
"Congratulations to the Jharkhand government and officials of the Mines Ministry, the Government of India for successfully concluding first ever e-auction of mineral blocks under the amended MMDR Act, 2015," Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.
"Mining leases of two limestone blocks have been successfully auctioned today at a premium of 12 per cent each against reserve price of 10 per cent premium, he added.
The Mines Ministry expects that the first phase of mines auction will be over by March 2016, Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar had earlier said.
In 2015, the government had auctioned 29 coal blocks that would fetch revenue to the tune of Rs 3 lakh crore.