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Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

States offer 16 iron ore, 23 limestone blocks for auction

As per market estimates, total cement grade limestone reserve available is around 89,862 million tonnes

New Delhi: Mineral bearing states Odisha, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have put 16 iron ore and 23 limestone mines under the hammer for the first phase of auction.

While Karnataka has put up 14 iron ore mines, Maharashtra and Odisha have offered one each, people familiar with the matter said. In the case of limestone, Andhra Pradesh has put up six blocks for auction followed by Gujarat (five), Chhattisgarh (four), Rajasthan (three), Odisha and Jharkhand two each and Maharashtra had placed one block under the hammer, they added.

The number of iron ore mines is expected to increase with one additional block to be put for auction by Karnataka and four by Odisha, a senior government official said. Limestone blocks will also increase with Madhya Pradesh set to offer three mines, he added.

As per the market estimates, total cement grade limestone reserve available is around 89,862 million tonnes (MT). According to government data, domestic production of iron ore was 169 MT in 2011-12 and 137 MT in 2012-13 against the consumption of 101 MT and 103 MT, respectively.

The centre expects the 12 mineral-producing states to offer as many as 70 mines, producing minerals such as iron ore, limestone and bauxite in the first phase of auctions, expected to be concluded by March.

In March last year, Parliament passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, which paved the way for states to auction iron ore and non-coal mineral mines. PTI

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