JSW Steel -Adani Group- ArcelorMittal forces Odisha to cancel Mining Auction

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Loading the gold ore into heavy dump truck at the opencast mining

By Our Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR/JODA/BARBIL/KOIRA: The cold war between India’s 3 leading Corporate Houses was on Monday forced the Naveen Patnaik led BJD Government in Odisha to cancel the ongoing bidding of some 20 running mines , lease expiring by March 30,2020.

The fresh notification for auction of 20 mines would be issued December 6, while the technical bid will be opened January 4 2020 next year, added the source. Letters of intent earlier expected to be granted to the highest bidder by January 2020 will now be signed in February next year.

“We have cancelled the bidding process and fresh tenders will be invited again,” said an official of Odisha Steel and Mines Department. It may be noted here that, the JSW Steel is facing local resistance in Odisha.

Sources said, JSW Utkal Steel, which is planning a mega steel plant at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, where South Korean, POSCO failed, eyeing big mines in Odisha. The decision was taken after Adani group and ArcelorMittal, who participated in the first of two rounds of auctions, complained against JSW’s decision to bid for the largest block through half a dozen subsidiaries.

Sources said, JSW Steel has submitted multiple bids through its subsidiaries for a few key mineral blocks on offer. “Several companies including Adani Group- ArcelorMittal objected the practice, prompting the department to cancel the notice inviting tenders (NITs) for all the 20 working mines.

Among the 20 mining blocks was the massive 767.284 ha Nuagaon deposit with reserves of 792.93 million tonne, larger than all other iron ore deposits on offer.Sources said the state government has received 15 technical bids for the Nuagaon block of which six were from companies or subsidiaries of a particular steel major, sources further said.

The Naveen Patnaik Government after the new mines and minerals acts, has made it open that a company or its subsidiary can submit only one bid for a particular mineral block.

Among the first lot was the massive 767.284 ha Nuagaon deposit with reserves of 792.93 million tonne, larger than all other iron ore deposits on offer A net worth criterion of Rs 3872 crore had disqualified the incumbent lessee KJS Ahluwalia. Of the fifteen technical bids received for Nuagaon, six were from companies or subsidiaries of the Sajjan Jindal led JSW Group – JSW Steel, JSW Raigarh, JSW Bengal Steel, JSW Jharkhand Steel, JSW Utkal Steel, and Amba River Coke.

Elder brother Prithvi Raj Jindal’s Jindal SAW and younger brother Naveen Jindal’s Jindal Steel and PowerNSE -0.96 % and its subsidiary, Jindal Power, are also in the run.

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