Seven steel majors bid for Odisha’s iron ore mines

BHUBANESWAR: Seven steel making industries, including a central PSU, have submitted technical bids for the Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block with deposits of around 100 million tonne in Odisha.

The Odisha government on Thursday opened the bid process, which was started on December 23 last year for the iron ore mines.

Sources in the steel and mines department said Essar Steel, JSW Steel Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), Bhushan Steel Limited, Bhushan Power and Steel Limited, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and Tata Steel are the seven companies which have participated in the bidding process.

The Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block is at G2 exploration stage and located in Koira sector in Sundargarh district. The block has been reserved for integrated steel plant as end use, and mining lease (ML) will be issued to the successful bidder.

The mineral concession area is spread over 139.16 hectares (ha) including 20.88 ha forest land, 110.69 ha government land and the balance 7.58 ha private land. Survey of the mineral block has been done by the Geological Survey of India (GSI).

The successful bidder who bags ML for the block will obtain all statutory licenses and permits needed for mining like forest clearance, wildlife clearance, environment clearance, consent to establish, permission for a mine opening and consent of the gram sabhas.

“The process for technical evaluation has started, and names of technically qualified bidders would be announced on February 25,” said a senior officer requesting anonymity.
According to the notification, the bidders submit a technical bid and initial price offer in the first round of e-auction.

The highest initial price offer among the technically qualified bidders would be the floor price for the second round of online auctions.

In the subsequent round of e-auctions, the qualified bidders would submit their final price offers. The e-auction process would be cancelled if none of the qualified bidders would submit the final price offers.
The iron ore block will be offered in the form of a composite licence- prospecting licence (PL)-cum-mining licence (ML).

The qualified bidder who submits the highest final price offer would be declared the ‘preferred bidder’.
Then, the state government would issue a ‘Letter of Intent’ to the preferred bidder upon payment of the first instalment of the upfront payment.

The auction platform is provided by MSTC Ltd while SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBI Caps), a fully owned subsidiary of State Bank of India, is the transaction adviser for conducting mineral e-auction. The transaction adviser will assist the state government in fixing a floor price for the auction.

The state government has already formed a committee under the development commissioner for the smooth conduct of mines auction in the state.