Odisha readying 10 mining blocks for auction in July, Auctioned blocks to start operation within a month

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Bhubaneswar: After the success of the February round of auction, the Odisha government now readying another 10 mining blocks for auction in July. The 10 blocks include 5-6 Iron Ore blocks and few Manganese, Graphite and limestone blocks.

“We are planning to auction another 10 mining blocks including 5-6 Iron Ore blocks by June last week or in July” said Deepak Mohanty, director of Mines.

Meanwhile, the state has issued vesting order to the miners who have won mining blocks in the February round of mining block auction.

“ We have issued vesting orders to the winning bidders and within one month they will execute the lease and then will initiate mining operation,” said Mr Mohanty.

With the operation of new mines, Odisha is eying to meet its revenue shortfall which has dipped by 66 percent to 641 crore during April and May due to the lockdown.

In February, Odisha has auctioned 19 Iron Ore and Manganese mines and another 2 mines-Sukinda Chrome mines and Guali Iron Ore mines were auctioned in March.

Out of the 19 mining blocks auctioned in February, steel major JSW Steel has bagged maximum 4 blocks Nuagaon, Narayanposhi, Ganua and Jajang Iron Ore mines with combined Iron Ore reserve of 1130 million tonnes. Apart from JSW, global steel giant Arcelor Mittal has bagged the Thakurani Iron Ore block with estimated Iron Ore reserve of 179 million tonnes. On the other hand, Tata Steel subsidiary T.S. Alloys had bagged the Sukinda chromite mines.

In December 2019, the state government had cancelled auction of 29 mining blocks including 12 Iron Ore, 2 Manganese and 6 Iron & Manganese blocks, after complaints of irregularities and invited fresh bids for 19 blocks. The government is likely to invite bids for the rest 10 blocks before March.

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