Centre targets auction of as many as 25 mines by August
So far, the mineral-bearing states have put under the hammer 47 mineral blocks, of which six have been sold, garnering a revenue, including royalty, DMF and NMET contributions, of about Rs 18,146 crore.
Auction process for 17 blocks was deferred due to insufficient bids. “Very soon states will put for auction 50-60 blocks. We expect notice inviting tenders (NITs) for 20-25 mines to come out in the next 2-3 months,” Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar said at an event here on Wednesday.
Elaborating on the efforts taken by the government to boost the mining sector in the country, Kumar said that 100 blocks of about 100 sq km each will be soon offered for exploration.
“The National Mineral Exploration Policy (NMEP) will be notified in 1-2 months and then the process of auctioning of these blocks will begin through reverse bidding.
I think in 2-3 months this should start,” the Secretary noted. Raising concern on the menace of illegal mining activities, Kumar said a pan-India monitoring system is being prepared, which would identify any mining activity undertaken outside the purview of authorised mining activity and the control room of this system would be in the Indian Bureau of Mines.