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CMDC seeks forest land diversion for bauxite mine

Mining News - Published on Tue, 26 Dec 2017

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Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd has sought forest land diversion of 99.35 hectares for Pathrai Bauxite mines in the State. Government officials said that the main objective of the company is to search major and minor minerals and precious stones and to acquire mining rights for exploration and development of the mines. The mission of CMDC is to enhance production.

Chhattisgarh has confirmed two limestone blocks and one Bauxite block ready for auction.

Notably, the Ministry of Mines was monitoring the process very closely with the state governments. The consensus emerged that the Mineral Auction Rules need to be amended to make the process more pragmatic without sacrificing the checks on successful bidders. The Mineral Auction Rules have been amended on November 30, 2017.

Under the old rules, the process of auction was annulled if there are less than 3 bidders and this process used to be carried out for 3 rounds at least. Only in the 4th round flexibility was allowed. Each round of auction carries on for 3 months at least and this resulted in many blocks getting annulled time and again.

While a minimum of 3 bidders is still stipulated in first attempt to auction, in the amended rules now the states have the flexibility of allocating the block in the 2nd round itself even if there are less than 3 bidders. This will make the auction process less cumbersome and will help states auction mineral blocks quickly.

Earlier the State used to prescribe end use conditions on miners and it was very rigid. This resulted in inefficient mining as many mines with low grade ore dumps were saddled with this burden as they could neither use it for captive purpose nor could dispose it of. In the amended rules, such miners will be able to dispose of 25% of such dumps, which are not used for captive purposes. This will help progress towards zero waste mining and utilisation of minerals even in low-grade ore. This provision holds good only for the mines that would be granted through auction after 30/11/2017 i.e. the date of publication of the amendment rules. Bid values are likely to improve and participation will improve further.

The amended rules have also provided adjustment of the upfront premium to be adjusted against the due payments of miner at the earliest. This would increase the liquidity of the mining entities at the most stressed time i.e. when production begins. This will further ease their capacity to carry out the business.

A major amendment in the rules has been that the requirement of net worth for the prospective bidders. In practical terms for an average annual production of up to INR 2 Crore, the net worth required was INR 4 Crore, which is reduced to INR 0.5 Crore. For an average annual production up to INR 20 Crore the net worth required was INR 40 Crore which has been reduced to INR 10 Crore

For small bidders the value of unencumbered immovable property can also be taken in net worth, thus allowing larger participation.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 26 Dec 2017
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