Auction of newly identified mining blocks to begin in November
The government has decided to start auctioning of 146 newly identified mining blocks in November this year. A total of 146 mining blocks have been identified by various states and at least 82 of them will be auctioned in the first phase, said Union Minister for Steel and Mines Narendra Singh Tomar. “Centre will start the auction of 80-90 identified mine blocks by November. All the states are participating in the auction process as per their capacity. 146 blocks have been marked by all states, of which 82 blocks will be auctioned in the first phase,” Tomar said at an event of the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi on Tuesday. He said that the center was ready to provide all kinds of support to any state intending to promote the mining sector but faced problems in the auction process. According to Balvinder Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, the ministry will bring a draft of the National Mineral Exploration Policy in two-three days and seek suggestions from the industry. “In two months' time we will have a new policy and funds would be coming to the tune of Rs.400-500 crore per annum to support exploration process,” Kumar said. The ministry is also formulating rules for offshore mining and exploration, which would be ready in two months’ time, said the Secretary, expressing hope that “all the 80 blocks would be allotted for mining and exploration by the end of this year”. On the issue of transfer of existing captive mining leases, he said, “We will have to explore new ways to resolve this issue, as the law department has disagreed for transfer of any mining lease whether it is existing or even for those which would be allotted through auction.” In order to explore untapped resources, the ministry is in the process of selecting a consultant to prepare documentation for engagement of a global level agency which would carry out aerial geophysical and electromagnetic survey.
September 23, 2015 | 2:29pm IST.