Auction of 11 mineral blocks sale of 4 mines in abeyance

The government has put on hold the auction of 11 mineral blocks, including two gold mines, besides keeping in abeyance sale of four blocks. The blocks on hold for auction are in Madhya Pradesh, while the mines kept in abeyance are in Jharkhand, according to a document of the mines ministry. Among the blocks put on hold for auction, two are gold mines, five limestones, three base metal and one bauxite block. The mines kept in abeyance, two are bauxite blocks and one each of limestone and dolomite.

Under the guidelines, the Centre has asked states to set up a project monitoring unit (PMU) to complete the preparatory work for obtaining requisite clearances, approvals and related work. The unit would obtain all the clearances for starting a mining project. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had earlier announced various structural reforms in the mining sector as part of the over Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to boost growth and job creation. She had announced the auction of 500 blocks and introduction of a seamless composite exploration-cum-mining-cum-production regime. So far, 97 mining leases have been allocated through auctions since 2015.