To boost industrial and mining activities in the state, the Odisha government today decided to set up Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation.

The new unit, which would be set up as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), will undertake exploration to prove the mineralised/ore bearing virgin areas for facilitating auction of mineral blocks.

The state cabinet in its meeting on Monday also decided to make provision to allow Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to go for export of ore and suitably amend IPR provision to facilitate investment.

"The objectives of the proposed Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (OMECL) are to undertake scientific mineral exploration to prove the mineralised/ore bearing virgin area of the state to aleast G2 level of UNFC for facilitating auction of mineral blocks," said Chief Secretary A P Padhi.

Stating that the proposed organisation may also take up sponsored exploration work from various mining lease holders and organisations, Padhi said Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) will set it up as its 100 per cent subsidiary company.

The initial paid up capital may be Rs.5 crore or such other amount as may be decided by OMC out of total authorised capital of Rs.20 crore, the chief secretary said.

The proposed OMECL will take up exploration in such areas as may be decided by the state government or OMC and also enter into MoU with the government for exploration, he said.

Replying a question, Padhi said the cost of exploration of mineral blocks entrusted to OMECL by the government will be reimbursed to the corporation by the government either by way of subsidy or by recovering the cost of exploration from the bidder at the time of auction.

A state-level empowered committee will be constituted under the chairmanship of the chief secretary. .