Bhubaneswar: The state government is likely to auction the Sukinda chromite mine and another working iron ore mine that were being reserved for the state-owned Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Ltd.
Officials said a notification to “de-reserve” the mines could be issued very soon and the blocks could be advertised as soon as next week.
Odisha’s decision is believed to have stemmed from the recent ordinance by the Centre and an unwillingness to delay the resumption of any working mine lapsing in less than three months.
“The decision is a good thing and in the interest of equitable distribution,” the Economic Times quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Odisha has the largest number of old merchant mines, of the more abundant iron ore and the comparatively scarce chromite, that are set to lapse on March 31, 2020.
These will find new owners as the country transitions to an auction-only regime. Under the new regime, the state governments will get an additional percentage of sale value which a successful bidder commits to in addition to the royalty and taxes that they got earlier.