The government plans to auction as many as 25 mines containing minerals such as iron ore, gold, bauxite and limestone by August this year.
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 today.
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.
He added that offshore mining rules would be in the public domain soon and the government has identified 50 offshore mining blocks which will come up for auction in three-four months.
Madhya Pradesh Secretary Mineral Resources Department Sheo Shekhar Shukla said the state has put up three limestone and one diamond block for composite lease through e-auction.
Giving details of opportunities for investors in the mining sector in MP, he added that by October 2016 the state would put up auction notices for five more limestone blocks, adding that in the next two years about 24 mining blocks would be ready to be offered to investors.
He added that Madhya Pradesh is looking forward to the framework of a new mineral exploration policy by the Centre and the state would welcome the formation of joint ventures between the private sector and the State Mineral Corporation for joint exploration.