Indian state-owned company National Mineral Development (NMDC) has reportedly purchased an Andhra Pradesh gold mine, in the state’s Chittoor district, after emerging as the highest bidder in an auction.

Companies were invited to submit bids for the  located at Chigargunta-Bisanatham mine through an e-auction, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

NMDC won the bid, beating competition from other firms including Adani and Vedanta.

“This is the first time that NMDC is going to take up gold mining in India.”

The company’s production director Satpathy said: “This is the first time that NMDC is going to take up gold mining in India.

“We are the highest bidder in the e-auction for the gold mine located in Andhra Pradesh. Now the state government will call us to fulfil other formalities.”

NMDC expects to invest around INR4.5bn ($65.52m) in several phases to develop the mine.

A decision on project timeline will be made once the government makes a formal announcement regarding the bid results.

The block has an area of 263.01ha and estimated resources of 1.83 million tonnes containing 5.15g of gold per tonne.

Citing an unnamed company official, PTI also reported that the block has total recoverable gold content of about 8.5t, with potential for upside.

NMDC has agreed to share 38.25% of the revenues from the mine with the government.

The company is planning to operate the mine as underground mine and expects to commence mining within two years.

The official added that the company will sign a mine development and production agreement with the state government upon receipt of all relevant permits such as environmental clearances.