New Delhi: As many as 41 mineral blocks were auctioned in three months to February post amendment in rules and around 10 more bauxite mines would be put under the hammer in the next two months, a top official said on Tuesday.
“In the three months, that is December, January and February, post amendment (of auction rules) 41 blocks have come on auction," mines secretary Arun Kumar said in New Delhi. He was speaking at a conference on non-ferrous metals industry titled ‘Landscape for Non-Ferrous Metals in India 2030’ which was organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
“With more transparent auction process in place and the issue of price fixation likely to be resolved by the next month or so about 10 bauxite blocks would be coming up for auction in the month of March and April in this calendar year," the secretary said.
Stating that 28 mineral blocks were auctioned in the first eight months of the ongoing fiscal, Kumar said going forward some copper mines would also be put up for bidding.
“On copper, our domestic production is only about four per cent of our domestic requirements. There as well there will be blocks coming up for auction and though for a long time certainly will be dependent on foreign sources of copper concentrate," Kumar said.
The government, he said, has taken a conscious decision to shift more and more towards deep-seated minerals and non-ferrous minerals as this is the area which has very high potential. He further said that NITI Aayog is looking at a policy on base and strategic metals.