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16 Odisha Mines To Be Auctioned By March 2019, Mining Lease Of 6 Cancelled: Minister

04 December 2018

Ajesh Mallick

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Bhubaneswar: Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick today informed that the State Government is ready for auction of 16 mines and it will be carried out before March 2019 after availing seal of approval from the Central Government.

Talking to media at the State Secretariat here today, the Mines Minister said, “25 mines have availed stay order from the Revisional Authority while 6 mines have not availed stay for which their leases have been cancelled. As all these mines are yet to deposit their fine as per the Supreme Court’s order, concerned Collectors have been asked to initiate certificate case against them to collect the fine amount and the exercise has already begun.”

On being enquired about the fate of the 6 cancelled mines, the Minister replied, “As per the normal procedure they will be put into auction once again if there is no legal impediment. However, 16 mines, whose leases have expired, are now ready for putting into auction. We have written to the Centre accordingly for approval. We exepct we could be able to begin the process by December.”

Notably, Odisha Steel and Mines Department in its letter dated 28.11.2018 to the Union Ministry of Mines has proposed that Geological Survey of India (GSI) may be authorized under Section 18(A) of MMDR Act, 1957 to undertake prospecting operations in the non-working mines in Odisha for collecting precise information on the mineral reserve available and to prepare the Geological Report.

The letter also mentions, “In fact, 6 (six) out of these seven mining leases have been restricted from carrying out mining operations due to non-payment of compensation amount demanded in pursuance to the order dated 2.8.2017 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter of WP(C) No. 114/2014 Common Cause Vrs. State of Odisha & Others. Remaining one lease does not have the required statutory clearances for which it has not yet executed the supplementary lease deed for the deemed extension period.”

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Prafulla Mallick, Minister, Mines, Odisha