BHUBANESWAR: After successfully auctioning one iron ore block, the Odisha government plans to auction three more iron ore mines in next six months.
“After successfully auctioning one block, the state government plans to put three more iron ore mines on auction in next four to six months,” said mines director Deepak Mohanty Participating at the Minerals and Metals Odisha Conclave 2016 organized by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Odisha Chapter here on Friday.
However, he declined to disclose the locations where the mines have been identified.
Notably, Essar Steel bagged first ever mines auctioned by the government on March 4. The steel major got the Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block in Sundargarh district through e-auction process.
The state government is expected to earn revenue of around Rs 11,000 crore in next 40 to 50 years from the block with an estimated mineral reserve of around 100 MT.
Meanwhile, the Odisha government has collected Rs 90 crore under the District Mineral Fund (DMF) to carry out infrastructure development in mineral bearing districts.
“We have started collecting funds for the DMF. We will soon put the funds to use for the development of the concerned districts. Till now we have collected around Rs 90 crore from four districts, namely, Angul, Keonjhar, Sundergarh, and Jajpur,” said steel and mines secretary R.K. Sharma, who participated in the conclave.
Under DMF, leaseholders pay an additional amount beyond the royalty for the development of mineral bearing areas.
Vishal Aggarwal, chairman of ICC-Odisha chapter, urged the government for a financial package to ensure profitability and sustainable growth of the steel and metal industries as the global steel market are going through a slow down.
“The policies of the state government have been extremely useful and over the past two years, there has been a noticeable change in various aspects like transportation and auctions. Odisha became the first state to auction a mine under the new rules, and we have urged the government to put more mines for auction,” said a member of ICC Odisha Chapter member Manish Kharbanda.
“We informed the state government that if we want to boost steel production we need to hold discussions together to ease bottlenecks like getting approvals. Moreover, logistics is also very costly, and the state government should bring the industry and the transporters together to find a feasible solution,” said Mesco Steel MD, Rita Singh.