Nine mineral blocks to be put up for auction soon, says Balvinder Kumar

New Delhi [India]: A total of nine mineral blocks put on auction including two from Karnataka iron ore plots with excellent response up to 100 percent bidding over reserve price, Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Balvinder Kumar said at an ASSOCHAM event.

“A total of nine blocks have been put on successfully auction including two from Karnataka iron ore plots and total seven blocks are being put up to auctions by state government of Karnataka and we expect extremely good response in these seven mineral areas,” said Kumar while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on ‘India Mining Summit 2016’.

The bids for the first iron ore in Karnataka were 90 percent above the reserve price. In the second mine, the bid was almost 100 percent over reserve price and these are very encouraging results.

He further said, the Government will be getting above Rs. 25000 crore by the way of royalties etc over the period of 50 years.

On the issue of aluminum industry minimum import duty hike or minimum import price (MIP), Kumar said, we are examining this matter in great depth and two-three rounds of discussions have taken place with different segments of aluminum industry. So, either we may go for MIP or alternatively to increase the import duty but we want to develop consensus among the different segment of aluminum industry. We are working on it and in next 15 days will take decision on this issue.

By end of this fiscal year, minimum 40-50 mining leases to be auctioned by various states. 15 category C mines were re-auctioned, earlier cancelled by Supreme Court.

If we see exports, exports have increased tremendously. In 2015-16, it was 5.32 billion tonne in this fiscal we have already bypassed that figure. Imports have also decreased sharply as against 2015-16 about seven billion tonnes and now this has reduced to 1.022 billion tonnes.

The overall mineral growth this year is about 10.6 percent in first five months. Iron Ore production has increased by 32 percent.

“Backward districts to get 200-400 crore every year, the huge amount will be spent on social economic development of these areas and these district area soon see transformation in their overall development scenario and many of these districts are maoist affected,” added Kumar.

We are going to monitor all the mining area through the satellite imaginary. We are also going to launch mobile app where anybody can upload photo of illegal mining,” said Kumar.

The automation of mining plan with online web portal giving real-time base data across all states, said Kumar.

Mining industry is in the phase of recovery where many reforms are taking place. Mining provides direct employment to 2.6 billion people. On real time basis, one can see production of all minerals across states. (ANI)