Odisha leases out 18 mines

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has granted leases of 18 mines for a period of 50 years including a bauxite mining lease to State-owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).

The state government has already received Rs 500 crore from these concerned mines as stamp duty and in future it will receive more revenue in way of mining royalty and under the District Mineral Fund (DMF).

Out of the 18 mines, 7 are iron ore, 2 manganese, 1 each of bauxite and chromite, 5 gemstone, and 2 are limestone mines.

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The MMDR Act came into force on January 12, 2015. Under the Act, the Centre had approved 62 mines for leasing. However, due to lack of required clearances, the lease tenure for the rest 44 mines have expired following which their future will decided in the court of law.

“There are many applicants who have moved the Orissa High Court and as far as I know, they have got interim protection by status quo on their lease deeds till next hearing. Their applications will not lapse. Now their fate depends on the final order of the court,” said secretary of the Eastern Odisha Mine Owners Association, Prabodh Mohanty.

On the other hand, OMC has been granted bauxite mine lease for the first time at Kodingamali in Koraput. The Kodingamali mine has a bauxite reserve of 81 million tonne. As the mine has obtained environmental clearance, aluminum companies in the State can now procure bauxite from OMC which has opened up an avenue for Vedanta to obtain Bauxite ore.

“As the Kodingamali mine has obtained required environmental clearances, the Odisha government has signed the lease deed. With this OMC can operate this mine and through this Vedanta can be supplied raw material,” said resident editor of Business Standard, Dilip Satpathy.

The Odisha government is also targeting to come out with a notification for leasing of two more iron ore mines.