Saturday, 5 December 2015

Odisha to auction two iron ore blocks in first phase
WEEKEND Business Standard, Kolkata, 5th December, 2015

BS REPORTER: Two iron ore blocks in Odisha would go under the hammer in the first phase. The blocks listed for auctions are Ghoraburahani-Sagasahi East block and Jhunka-Patriposi blocks with combined reserves of over 140 million tonne.
"The survey work has been completed in respect of 12 blocks- five iron ore, five limestone, one bauxite and one manganese block. In the first phase, two blocks would be put to auctions. The state government has engaged SBI Caps as the transaction advisor for conduct of auctions", state steel & mines minister Prafulla Mallick stated in a written reply to the state assembly.
The notification for mineral blocks auctions is expected to be issued shortly.
The platform is set to be provided by central PSU MSTC Ltd. SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBI Caps), a fully owned subsidiary of State Bank of India is the transaction advisor for conducting mineral auctions. The transaction advisor would assist the state government in fixing floor price for auctions.
To kickstart the auction process, the state government has already formed a committee under its development commissioner U N Behera. The committee's mandate is to monitor the preparatory work relating to auction of major mineral concessions including conduct of DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) survey and preparation of tender documents.
Realising the need for exploration, the state government has already come out with a dedicated policy on mineral exploration. Central government agencies like Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd (MECL) were being roped in by the state to carry out exploration work of the identified mineral blocks.
According to the notified Auction Rules, 2015, the state governments will have the discretion to reserve particular mine or mines for any particular end use. Auctions can be conducted only through an online electronic platform. The state government may utilise any online platform which meets the minimum technical and security requirements as specified in the guidelines for compliance to quality requirements of e-procurements issued by the standardisation testing and quality certification directorate under department of information technology. The Union government has proposed an upfront payment of 0.5 per cent of value of resources by companies, who secure licence for mining major minerals like iron ore through auction under the new law.

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