Decks cleared for auction of five mines in August

Bhubaneswar: The Mines department of the Odisha government has decided to auction five mines in the State in August. Notification for the auction will be issued soon, official sources said today.

The five mines that would go under the hammer include two limestone mines located at Kotameta and Usakalabhagu in Malkangiri district, one in Garamara in Nuapada district, a manganese mine at Lasarda Pacheri in Keonjhar district and an iron ore mine in Sundargarh, the sources added.

The State government has zeroed in on nine mines for auction eight months after the first auction of an iron ore mine at Gheraburnai-Sagasahi in Sundargarh under the amended MMDR Act that came into force on December 23, 2015.

“SBI Cap, which was tasked with the preparation of the reports for the mines auction, has finished its task for these mines to be auctioned in this round. We will auction some mines in August,” Mines minister Prafulla Mallick said,

“We had asked the SBI Cap to work on auction of 11 mines. However, work on 7-8 mines has been finished so far,” Mallick added.

Meanwhile, Industry expert BS Pani said, “Investors know it is the right time to acquire raw materials to enhance their production. Even after auction, a lot of work like getting environment, forest and wildlife clearances and acquisition of land remains to be done. Besides, the government has to do mine planning.”

In a related development, the Centre has approved prospective licence (PL) and mining lease (ML) of two limestone mines in Odisha, informed Mines director Deepak Mohanty today.

Besides, three mines have been upgraded to G-2 level from G-3 level, he added.