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280 non-coal mines to be auctioned in FY18: Secy

The non-coal mining auction process, which started at the beginning of 2016 have received a tepid response from the industry with only 21 mines successfully auctioned till date.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
February 16, 2017 2:01:23 am

Even though 10 mineral-rich states have presented a plan to the Union mines ministry of auctioning 71 non-coal mines in 2017-18, mines secretary Balvinder Kumar on Wednesday said that 280 mines would be auctioned in the coming financial year.

The non-coal mining auction process, which started at the beginning of 2016 have received a tepid response from the industry with only 21 mines successfully auctioned till date. In June 2015, several mineral-rich states presented a non-coal mineral auction plan to the Central government, wherein they stated that 100 mines would be auctioned by December 2015.

“The 280 mines planned for auction next fiscal have the mineral wealth of over Rs 10 lakh crore. Besides, there are 83 mines under litigation that would be auctioned depending on the outcome,” Kumar said at National Conclave on Mining and Minerals in Delhi on Wednesday.

However, the 10 states’ auction plan for 71 mines was presented to the Union mines ministry last month only. As per the plan, 22 iron ore mines and 21 limestone mines would be auctioned by these mineral-rich state governments in the coming financial year. Many mines, which did not find any bidders earlier, would now be re-tendered for auction in the next financial year – out of total 71 mines, 16 mines and three mines would be tendered for the second time and third time, respectively.

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As per the new mining law — Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015 — which came into effect from January 2015, the non-coal mines have to be auctioned by the respective state governments. Under the old mining law, the states had the powers to grant the mining lease to any company as per their discretion.

The 2015 mining law states that if a company has already received mining licence (ML) of a non-coal block for captive purposes, it can continue to mine it till the lease period ends. Once it ends, such a company will have the first right of refusal.

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