The Odisha government on Saturday said it has readied 36 mines for auction while at least five to 10 mines will be auctioned in July.
Interacting with media on the sidelines of a seminar of Mining Engineers Association of India here, Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said they are taking steps for the auction of mines early so that iron ore production is not affected in the state.
“Around 24 mines will be closed in 2020. However, we have already chalked out plans to auction those mines so that ore production is not hampered,” he said.
While 36 mining blocks are ready for auction, five to 10 blocks will be auctioned in July, he added.
In his address in the event, Mallick asked the mining engineers to take steps for utilisation and value addition of mines with low-grade minerals in Odisha.
Under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act 2015, licences of expiring mines will not be renewed and the mines will be allotted on the basis of auction.
Odisha is the largest producer of iron ore having capacity of 55 million tonnes production per annum.