IMG on mines auction to take stock of clearances this week
An inter-ministerial group (IMG) set up to fast-track mining leases will this week review the status of 16 successfully auctioned blocks that will fetch states revenues of more than Rs 59,500 crore over 50 years.
Post-Auction Mining Clearances and Approvals Facilitator (PAMCAF), chaired by the Mines Secretary, will meet on October 28 to review status of the 16 mines successfully auctioned so far, a senior official said.
"It will review the status of clearances of mine leases won through auctions, the status of Mine Development and Production Agreement (MDPA) as well as that of the issuance of letter of intents (LoIs)," the official added.
The IMG will also explore ways to enhance facilitation for the states concerned to expedite the clearances for early start of operations.
The auction, which kicked off on a lacklustre note earlier this year, is seeing some interest from investors as 10 firms snapped up 16 mines.
The first successful bidding was in February 2016, with two small limestone blocks in Chhattisgarh going under the hammer.
Since then, 14 mines containing iron ore, limestone, gold and diamond have been auctioned out of the total 76 reserved for the sale -- 47 in the first phase and 29 in the ongoing second stage.
So far, a total of 16 mines have been auctioned and revenues that will accrue to states will be over Rs 59,500 crore.
The lease to mine minerals from these blocks is for 50 years and the total earnings include royalty and contributions for the District Mineral Foundation and the National Mineral Exploration Trust.
Of the 16 mines, Karnataka has auctioned 7 followed by Chhattisgarh (3), Jharkhand (2) and Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh 1 each.
In mineral terms, iron ore leads the tally with eight mines, followed by limestone (6) and 1 each of gold and diamond.
Sajjan Jindal-led JSW is the preferred bidder for highest 5 mines (all iron ore) in the ongoing auction followed by Baldota Group firm MSPL bagging 2 (iron ore). Burnpur Cement has emerged as the preferred bidder for 2 small limestone mines.
Cement companies Penna Cements, Century Cements, Shree Cements and Emami Cement bagged a block each of limestone.
Billionaire Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta won the country's first auctioned gold mine in Chhattisgarh while Bansal Construction Company secured the mining lease for the first auctioned diamond block (Madhya Pradesh) in India.
Other than officials from the mines ministry, PAMCAF has representation from the ministries of environment and forests, Railways, petroleum and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
The group includes senior officials of the departments concerned from states as well.