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Mon, 18th Apr 2016 (Source:Business Standard)
The Odisha government has lined up 12 new mineral blocks for auctions by September this year. All these blocks are at G3 level and survey work is underway for upgrading them to the G2 level to make them eligible for auctions.
Exploration of the blocks is being done by Geological Survey of India (GSI), Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) and the state directorate of mines & geology.
"Out of 12 blocks listed for auctions, five to six are iron ore blocks. We will put them up for online auctions after exploration", said Deepak Mohanty, director of mines (Odisha).
Earlier, the state government had requested the central mines ministry to allow seven mineral blocks at G3 exploration stage for auctions for issue of composite license (prospecting license cum mining lease). The ministry, however, had allowed only two blocks which were explored up to the G2 level and hence, auction ready.
So far, the state government has auctioned only one iron ore block-Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block located in Koira sector in Sundargarh district. Essar Steel emerged as the successful bidder in the first iron ore block offered for e-auctions in Odisha. A robust bidding helped the steel maker to bag the block, upstaging strong contenders like Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) and JSW Steel.
The block, with deposits of 99.54 million tonne, has been reserved for integrated steel plant as end use and mining lease (ML) will be issued to the successful bidder.
The mineral concession area is spread over 139.16 hectares (ha) including 20.88 ha forest land, 110.69 ha government land and the balance 7.58 ha private land. Survey of the mineral block has been done by the GSI.