Auction for allocation of non-coal mineral bearing leases could start as early as next month under the newly-notified rules, which inter alia mandate a two-stage bidding process through electronic route where the highest bid above the reserve price wins.
Karnataka is ready with 8 iron ore mines to be put under the hammer next month. This will be followed by auction in 13 other states for a total of 107 mines containing limestone, bauxite or manganese ore apart from the key steel-making raw material.
As per the rules, the minerals extracted under the new lease should be utilised solely for the specified-use and should not be sold or transferred or otherwise dispose of, either directly or indirectly.
The pre-requisite for auction of a mining lease is that the state has to identify and demarcate the area where a mining lease is proposed to be granted through an “online electronic auction platform” by using total station and differential global positioning system and be classified into forest land, land owned by the state government and so on.
The state government may utilise any online electronic auction platform which meets the minimum technical and security requirements as specified by the centre. The newly amendment MMDR Act, which mandates the centre to frame the rules, was notified on January 12, gave its nod to raise the grant period to 50 years from 30 years earlier.