Odisha, Jharkhand mull iron ore e-auction

Follow Karnataka’s example which raised huge revenues through the initiative

By Anupam Chakravartty
Published: Friday 17 February 2012

In a bid to counter rampant illegal mining, Odisha and Jharkhand, have decided to e-auction iron ore. The planning process is at its nascent stage, say state government officials. The measure will make the auctioning process transparent,” says a senior official from department of mines and geology in Bhubaneswar.

Odisha and Jharkhand have rich mineral base but face losses in royalty due to illegal mining “Of the 600 leases given to iron ore miners in the state, only about 100 are functioning. This is because many miners are involved in illegal mining,” he says.

At present talks are on between both the states to prepare an e-auction.

The inspiration to hold e-auction comes from Karnataka wherein a Supreme Court-monitored e-auction raised huge revenues for the state. The state’s department of mines and geology earned a whopping Rs 270 crore within two months despite a blanket ban on iron ore mining by the apex Court in Bellary following an illegal mining scam.

The department stated in a release that the court had permitted sale of about 25 million tonnes of iron ore from the stockpile at various leases in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts to ensure supply of ore to domestic steel mills, sponge iron and pig iron units, in and around Karnataka. The Supreme Court-mandated e-auction in Karnataka has also increased the price of iron ore up to about 3,500 per tonne from about 2,700 per tonne in the earlier price regime. So far, 11 e-auctions have taken place for about 25 million tonnes of iron ore, say officials.


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