The Indian Government has unveiled plans to auction an additional 102 mines located in 11 states over the next six months.
Since 2015, the government has secured Rs1,810bn ($24.34bn) through the auction of 50 mining projects, including 23 limestone, 17 iron ore, four gold, two each of manganese and graphite, and one each of bauxite and diamond, the Press Trust of India reported, citing a report from the Ministry of Mines.
As per the latest auction plan, companies will be allowed to bid for 102 mineslocated in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Telangana and Assam.
The proposed auctions will include 42 limestone, 19 bauxite, 11 manganese ore, eight copper, six iron ore, six graphite, and three zinc operations. In addition, two emerald, two gold, one iron ore and manganese, as well as one dolomite/limestone and one copper ore project will be offered.
Around 20 minesin Jharkhand will be made part of the auction. Rajasthan will auction 16 , while Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra will each open 13 for exploration.
The government will start the auction with two limestone projects, one each in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, next week.
The Chintalayapalle-Abdullapuram-Korumanipalli (CAK) limestone proect, which is located in Andhra Pradesh and is estimated to have reserves of 104.68 million tonnes (mt), will be the first to be auctioned. It will be followed by the Bhatvadiya block in Gujarat with estimated reserves of 477.2mt.
Previously, the central government stated that it was exploring the idea of granting all approvals, including environmental clearance, to mines before auctioning them.
Through the initiative, the government aims to expedite the auction process and resolve issues related to green clearances and land rights upfront.