INDIA - Dalmia Cement, Thriveni Earthmovers bag mining blocks in Odisha

Dalmia Cement Limited and Thriveni Earthmovers Private Limited (TEPL) bagged the Kottameta limestone and Lasarda-Pacheri manganese blocks in Odisha respectively.

The Dalmia Cement submitted the highest final price offer of 12.05% for the limestone block while the TEPL's highest final price offer was 44.65%, said an official notification issued by the state steel and mines department.

Besides TEPL, other firms which took part in the financial bidding process for the manganese block were Feegrade, Ambey Mining, GV Mines Minerals & Metals and National Mineral Development Corporation. The block located in Keonjhar district has an estimated reserve of 11.61 million tonne.

Similarly, Adani Cement and Hira Cement were the other firms besides Dalmia which were in the race for the limestone block. The block in Malkangiri district has an estimated reserve of 98.69 million tonne.

"The state government is yet to ascertain the volume of revenue it is going to receive from the two blocks. It would take around 40 to 50 years for both the firms to complete the entire exploration process," said an officer in the mines department.

He said the Dalmia Cement would directly get mining lease as the Kottameta block was auctioned at G-2 level while TEPL would have to initially apply for prospecting license followed by mining lease.

The state government issued notification for auction of four blocks including Kottameta and Lasarda-Pacheri blocks on October 26, last year. It, however, cancelled auction process of Garamura and Uskalvagu blocks since no bidders applied for these two blocks during the auction process.

"We are examining the possible reasons as to why bidders are not showing interest in these two blocks. Both the blocks would be put on auction in next phases," the officer said.

With these limestone and manganese blocks—the total number of auctioned block in Odisha are now three. Earlier, Essar Steel had bagged the Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block in Sundargarh district from which the state government expects revenue of nearly Rs 11,000 crore in 50 years.
Meanwhile, the differential global positioning system of three more iron ore block in Sundargarh district has already been completed and these blocks would be put on auction within next one month.

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