Odisha to auction 16 mines by March 2019

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is likely to put up 16 mines for auction by the end March next year.

The State Government has started preparations and is targetting to auction 16 blocks, including ten iron ore mines and six others by the end of March, informed Odisha Steel & Mines minister, Prafulla Kumar Mallick on Tuesday.

“16 mines are ready for auctions. If the Centre approves, we will lease them despite court’s stay order,” said Mallick.

Earlier, the licenses of six mines- Arjun Lodha, Mineral Trading, H.G.Pandya & Others, BD Patnaik, Bhanj Mineral and M.R. Das Mines were cancelled by the government after they failed to pay the stipulated penalty imposed by the government for illegal mining.

A total of 31 mining companies have not paid the penalty out of which 25 have been granted stay order by the Revisional Authority, Mallick added stating further that the Collectors have also been directed to collect the fines by initiating certificate cases against defaulting leaseholders.