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The government plans to auction five to six mineral blocks, including iron ore and bauxite mines, in Madhya Pradesh over the next three months, according to an official. Of the 11 blocks that were put on sale by the state recently, there were takers for only five blocks and six mines received no interest from bidders.
"The six blocks had no bidders as they are commercially not viable and do not have very good market value," the official said.
Of these mines likely to be auctioned in the three months' time in Madhya Pradesh, there will be two bauxite blocks, one iron ore and one rock phosphate, he said.
The state saw auction of one mineral block in FY 2016-17, five mines in 2018-19 and two blocks in the last fiscal.
Of the eight blocks auctioned, three are limestone mines, two are graphite, two are diamond and one iron ore block.
Total revenue from the blocks to the government over a period of 50 years is expected at Rs 28,415.60 crore.
The Centre had last month asked each state having mineral resources to identify at least five new mining projects for auction with pre-embedded clearance on a pilot basis with a view to expediting the sale process as well as operationalisation of the blocks.
The mines ministry has released guidelines for the auction of mineral blocks with pre-embedded clearances as it explores ways to address the key issue of delay in mining production due to lack of various approvals such as forest and environment permissions.
The identified blocks would be auctioned along with other blocks without pre-embedded clearances.
Under the guidelines, the Centre has asked states to set up a project monitoring unit (PMU) to complete the preparatory work for obtaining requisite clearances, approvals and related work.
The unit would obtain all the clearances for starting a mining project.