Odisha is likely to put up about 18 mines, including iron ore blocks for auction this year, union mines secretary Anil G Mukim said today. He termed Odisha as the country's 'mining capital' and said it contributes in a very substantive manner as far as mining activities of the country are concerned. Mukim met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here before speaking to the reporters on the auctioning of mines. "I think more and more mines are to be put up for auction. This year I have been given to understand by the state government that around 17 to 18 mines including oron ore blocks will be put up for action," Mukim told reporters.
Describing Odisha as the "mining capital" of the country, he said adding the state contributes in a very substantive manner as far as mining activities of the country. In a review meeting with Odisha's mines secretary R K Sharma he discussed issues relating to auctioning of mines, environment forest clearances and ease of doing business in mining sector. Mukim said at the meeting that more iron ore, manganese, chromite, lime stone, bauxite blocks will be put on auction. "Ministry of Mines is taking all steps to remove bottlenecks and provide ease of doing business in the mining sector," he said.
"Nalco, our Navratna PSU, is doing very well. Its first quarter profit is over Rs 600 crore and they are going to sustain for the entire year," he said about the Odisha-based aluminium major. Mukim said over Rs 5000 crore has been collected under District Mineral Foundation (DMF) and projects are approved from the mining fund. The monetary mechanism has been put in place under DMF. Sources in the state's mining department said that the government has been gearing up to conduct auctions of about 31 mineral blocks whose lease period lapses by March 31, 2020 as per the provisions of the amended version of Mines and Minerals Development & Regulation (MMDR) Act, 2015.
The government is preparing to issue the notification to auction such blocks by April 2019, well in advance of their lease validity expiry, an official said. They said that unless the mines are not suitably prepared for auctions before their validity ended it may create raw material crisis.