Bhubaneswar: In a significant development, the Odisha Government on Monday cancelled the auction of mining blocks and has decided to go for fresh auction process for 20 Iron Ore and Manganese Mines, whose leases are expiring on 31 March 2020. The exact reason for the cancellation has not been cited by the government.
The government had issued Notice Inviting Tenders (NITs) for auction of as many as 29 Iron Ore, Manganese blocks on 4th, 14th and 18th of October.
The decision to annul the auction process was taken at the meeting of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) and the High-Level Committee (HLC) of the state government on the 30th of November. The Bank guarantees of the bidders participated in the auctions will also be refunded.
After the cancellation Steel & Mines Department has directed the Director of Mines to initiate a fresh process for Major Mineral Blocks, while issuing single Notice Inviting Tenders (NIT) for such auction in an order issued on 2 December, official sources said.
“The government has decided to begin fresh auction process under one NIT, which shall be initiated immediately in respect of 20 leases expiring on 31 March 2020 those were covered under annulled NIT dated 4th October and NIT dated 14th October. The auction process for Mineral Blocks notified against annulled NIT dated 18th shall be scheduled subsequently” said an official.
The reservation of Mineral Blocks for end-use including the definition of end-user and the Reserve Prices, as approved earlier shall be retained as such in this fresh auction.
According to officials in the Steel & Mines Department, the time schedule for auction of aforesaid 20 blocks of expiring leases as finalized in consultation with the Transaction Advisor (TA) has been intimated to Director Mines. The fresh NIT likely to be issued on 6 December and the commencement of sale of tender papers will begin from that day. The last date for sale of tender document is set on 30 December, said sources. According to the latest timeline letter of Intent to the successful bidder will be provided between 10- 29 February 2020 by the State Government.