Seven steel majors in e-auction of mines in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, Feb 11 (IANS) Seven steel majors including a central PSU have participated in the e-auction process to bag Odisha’s Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block with a total reserve of around 100 million tonne, officials said on Thursday.

The Odisha government on Thursday opened the bid process, which was started on December 23 last year for the iron ore mines.

The Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi block, located in Koida mining sector in Sundargarh district, has been reserved for specified end use for an integrated steel plant.

Sources in the steel and mines department said Essar Steel, JSW Steel Ltd, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Bhushan Steel Limited, Bhushan Power and Steel Limited, Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited and Tata Steel are the seven companies which have participated in the bidding process.

Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said the process for technical evaluation has started and names of technically qualified bidders would be announced on February 25.

He said the floor price would be decided after the technical evaluation is over.

While financial bids were invited in digital format only, technical bids were invited both in digital and physical format from eligible bidders.

Sources said that the state government would issue a letter of intent to the successful bidders by March 28.

The iron ore block will be offered in the form of a composite licence- prospecting licence (PL)-cum-mining licence (ML).

The auction platform is provided by MSTC Ltd while SBI Capital Markets Ltd (SBI Caps), a fully owned subsidiary of State Bank of India, is the transaction adviser for conducting mineral e-auction. The transaction adviser will assist the state government in fixing floor price for the auction.

The state government has already formed a committee under the development commissioner for the smooth conduct of mines auction in the state.

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