By Our Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR: The Naveen Patnaik Government in Odisha, which is carrying out auction of 38 of 40 mines expiring by March 31, 2020 has found itself in sticky wicket after Central PSU, National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) sought a major iron ore block with more than 200 million ton capacity in the State. NMDC wants to reserve the iron ore block under Section 17 (A) of MMDR Act.
Since a very long, NMDC is trying to get a foot hold in Odisha by acquiring an iron ore block. NMDC was granted mining lease of Malangtoli way back in 1972, it could not execute the ML due to absence of infrastructure support for mining and marketing of iron ore at that time.
Sources closely monitoring the auction process however revealed that NMDC eyeing any of these mines including Khandadhar, Malangtoli, Mankadnacha, Ramka, and Pandulposi.
It may be mentioned here that Khandadhar is the biggest among all the five iron ore blocks covering more than 68 square kilometres (Sq.Km.), Malangtoli is covering over 52 Sq. Kms is the second biggest iron ore mines in Odisha.
The Central PSU is planning for a mega iron ore project in the State. With Patnaik Government facing tough time, NMDC’s demand has brought more trouble for the State as it is trying to hard sell its iron ore resources to gain more funds for the state through auction route.