15 iron ore blocks in Karnataka identified for auctions

Debabrata Das New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018

Auctions will be held before March 2016, says State govt

Karnataka has identified 15 iron ore blocks for mining lease auctions in the State.

“While the timeline is still flexible, the State has informed that auctions will be held before March 2016,” a senior official of the Mines Ministry said.

Karnataka has appointed Crisil as the transaction advisor while it is also in the process of appointing MSTC as the auction platform provider.

The mineral bearing States had a meeting with Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar last month in Bengaluru. A total of 71 blocks were identified for auction of mining lease as well as the composite licence of prospecting licence-cum-mining lease in various States.

Of these, 20 are iron ore blocks, and while the majority are limestone blocks.

“Some of these blocks might need to be split further. By and large Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Maharashtra are close to begin the auction process and have already gone to the phase of appointing third-party advisors,” the official added.

Chhattisgarh is in the process of appointing KPMG as the transaction advisor and has decided to engage MSTC for the e-auctions. Gujarat and Odisha have appointed SBI Capital Markets as the transaction advisor and are in the process of appointing MSTC for the e-auctions. The Mines Ministry official did not give a firm timeline on when the first round of auctions will start but expressed hope that some blocks should go under the hammer by December 2015. “We have once again asked the States to expedite the process. Given the progress so far, it is not unrealistic to think that the first blocks will be auctioned by December,” the official said.

Published on October 21, 2015

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