Odisha asked to expedite mining block auctioning process

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Bhubaneswar, June 30 (IANS) The central government on Thursday asked the Odisha government to expedite the process for mines auction, an official said.

“We requested the state to put about 7-8 blocks as early as possible. The Chief Secretary has assured to issue notification for some blocks within a month,” said Union Mines Secretary Balvinder Kumar after holding a meeting with the state government officials here.

Notably, the state has so far auctioned only one iron ore block in Sundargarh district.

Maintaining that no issues of Odisha were pending with the central government regarding auction of mining block, he said the process is delayed due to slow pace of exploration and other internal matters

Kumar said problems relating to the conversion of mining blocks from G-3 to G-2 level of exploration has been cited as a reason behind the delay.

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The state government needs to upgrade mining blocks from G-3 level of exploration to G-2 level before putting it for auction. Under G-2 level of exploration, the preferred bidders would get mining license (ML) directly, sources said.

The mines secretary said there is a need to enhance aluminium production in Odisha to cater the need of aluminium industries, and the proposed aluminium park in the state was also discussed.

“Both Nalco and the state government will work out on the price at which primary aluminium would be supplied to industries,” he added.

He said Nalco is ready to carry out the development of the peripheral area of Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri. He said Nalco is also ready to take up CSR activities in Puri.

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