Odisha government is set to auction 16 mines including 10 iron ore reserves by the end of March 2019, Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said here Tuesday. Leases of these 16 mines have been expired and the Centre has been informed about the decision of the state government, Mallick told reporters here. "Once we get the approval from the Centre, the state government will put 16 mines under auction," he said. The auction process is likely to begin this month.
Replying to a question, the minister said at least 31 mine owners have failed to deposit penalty for illegal mining as per the order of the Supreme Court. Of the 31 mine owners, the state government has cancelled the lease of six and 25 got stay order from the court, Mallick said. The owners of the six mines whose leases have been cancelled will have to participate in the auction as per normal procedure, he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)