BHUBANESWAR: With 11 mineral blocks under hammer, the State government is all set to offer five more new mines for auction in the next two months. Minister of Steel and Mines Prafulla Mallick informed this to Union Minister of Coal and Mines Pralhad Joshi during a function organised by the Ministry of Mines in New Delhi through virtual mode on Wednesday.
Addressing the function organised for handing over 100 G-4 mineral blocks reports of Geological Survey of India (GSI) to different state governments, Mallick said, “We have created a separate organisation called Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation (OMEC) to expedite the process of the exploration in the State.”
After receiving G-4 exploration reports of seven mineral blocks, Mallick said, “We expect more G-4 and G-3 exploration reports of mines in future which would help the State speed up e-auction of its mineral wealth.” He further informed that Odisha has completed auction of 34 mines including 24 blocks whose leases expired by March 31, 2020. While the consent to operate has been given to 19 blocks, five blocks surrendered their leases as they failed to comply with the Mineral Auction Rule, 2015.
With the approval of the Centre, two of the five blocks are being operated by the Odisha Mining Corporation and the remaining three blocks are already under auction process. Mallick said Ghoraburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block located in Koira tehsil of Sundargarh district is the first block to be auctioned in India under the Mineral Auction Rule, 2015 and Essar Steel India Limited was the preferred bidder.