Saturday, 5 December 2015

9 Mineral-rich States to Auction up to 70 Mines
The Economic Times, Kolkata, 4th December, 2015

New Delhi : Nine mineral-rich states are expected to auction up to 70 mines to private firms for captive use this fiscal, mines secretary Balvinder Kumar said on Thursday . Of these, the auction process for 28 mines has started in five states, he said at a CII conference.

Kumar also said that the gov ernment is in the process of finalising a National Mineral Exploration Policy , a draft of which has been prepared for consultations with the industry .

He said Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh are expected to auction iron ore and limestone mines.

Karnataka is likely to offer 15 mines, Chhattisgarh five and Madhya Pradesh three mines with different mineral reserves, Kumar told ET.

The online auction will be conducted by MSTC Ltd on the lines of coal block auction where companies offering higher value for the reserves secure the blocks. Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have already begun auction of 15 blocks with limestone, iron ore and tungsten reserves to private companies.Gujarat will auction five limestone blocks--Mudhvay Sub blocks 1 to 4 and Goyla block--in the first round of auctions. Rajasthan will auction three limestone blocks--Sindwari-Rama Khera-Satkhanda block A and block B, and Harima-Pithasar-3D block. Maharashtra has offered Nandgaon-Ekodi limestone mine, Degve-Banda iron ore mine, Chitale-Watangi bauxite mine and Khobna tungsten block for sale. The last date for submitting bids for the Rajasthan blocks is January 4 and that for blocks in Gujarat is January 11.

The last date for bid submission for mineral blocks in Maharashtra is January 15.
Kumar said the government will earn INR 450-500 crore in revenue in the National Mineral Exploration Trust by the end of next year, as the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, mandates mining companies to contribute 2% royalty for facili tating exploration. The amendment to the Act passed in March stipulates auction as the only means to allow extraction of iron ore and other minerals.

Under the auction process, the host states invite technical and initial price bids from companies. Bidders who qualify as per the technical specifications are ranked on the basis of higher initial price offers made by them. Selected bidders participate in an online tendering process and the highest bidder wins the blocks.

The tender documents for the e-auction of mines has been prepared in consultation with staterun MECON Ltd based on provisions of the Act, Mineral Auction Rules of 2015 and the mineral policy of different states.

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