Relaxing the end-use norms for non-coal mines, the government has allowed, through amendments to the auction rules, prospective owners of such mines to sell 25% of the produce in the open market from nil previously, a move which is likely to rekindle investors’ interest in the auction process that saw lukewarm response so far. Since the amendment to the MMDR Act, carried out in 2015 paved the way for mandatory auctioning of non-coal mines, only 33 non-coal such mines have been successfully auctioned, while bidding for 60 blocks had to be cancelled after the process was initiated.
Briefing media on the impact of Mineral (Auction) Amendment Rules, 2017, mines secretary Arun Kumar said end-use restrictions resulted in inefficient mining as many mines with low grade ore dumps were saddled with this burden as they could neither use it for captive purpose nor could dispose it of. “In the amended rules, such miners will be able to dispose of 25% of such dumps, which are not used for captive purposes. This will help progress towards zero waste mining and utilisation of minerals even in low-grade ore. Bid values are likely to improve and participation will improve further,” he said. Read More…
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