With 31 mining leases expiring in 2020, Odisha asks leaseholders to complete exploration process by March’19

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Biznext bureau

Bhubaneswar: With as many as 31 mining leases are expiring on 31st March 2020, the Odisha government has already initiated efforts to get these mines ready for auction. The State Steel and Mines department has asked Mining Lease Holders of these mines to complete exploration by 31st March 2019. These mines are now active and mineral is being produced from these mines.

The department had given One-year Deadline to the Mining Lease Holders as associated requisites are to be completed before one year time period so that these mines will be put into auction before 31 March 2020.

As per the provisions of the amended Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 2015, the validity of existing merchant mines have been extended till March 31, 2020 and those of captive leases till 2030. Iron ore blocks going for auctions need to be explored at least up to G2 level as per the policy laid down by the Government of India. There are 97 mining leases expiring by the deadline, out of which 31 leases are from Odisha. Before putting them for auctions, the exploration levels of the leases need to be upgraded to G1 or G2 levels. According to Odisha government sources, exploration has been completed up to G2/G1 level of exploration in the case of 08 Leases.

As per the provisions of the amended Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 2015, the validity of existing merchant mines have been extended till March 31, 2020 and those of captive leases till 2030. Iron ore blocks going for auctions need to be explored at least up to G2 level as per the policy laid down by the Government of India. There are 97 mining leases expiring by the deadline, out of which 31 leases are from Odisha.

These mines are Roida Iron ore mining lease of K.N. Ram &Co, Narayaniposi Iron &Manganese ore mining lease and Mahulsukha Manganese ore mining lease of AMTC Limited. Similarly Nadidihi Iron ore mining lease of  B.1. Co Limited, Sukinda Chromite ore mining lease of TATA Steel Limited, Jurudi Iron ore mining lease of Kalinga Mining Corporation, Nadidih Rengalbeda Iron and Manganese ore mines of Feegrade& co and Teherai Iron and Manganese ore mines of BICO Ltd.

So other Mining Lease Holders have also been instructed to make all-out efforts to complete the exploration by 31 March 2019 so that the associated requisites like preparation of Geological Report, DGPS survey of the lease area, finalisation of land schedule can be ensured in time.

This will facilitate in putting these Mineral Blocks into auction prior to 31March 2020 and thereby continuity of the operation of mines can be maintained, said a senior official.

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