By Anurjay Dhal
BHUBANESWAR: The Jharkhand’s Chaibasa Headquarters’ Rungta Mines Ltd, which has several mines in Odisha, on Thursday stepped up its battle to defend its Jajang Iron Ore Block in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar district, which was put for auction instead of Roida-II held by KN Ram Mines of Atha Group.
Sources said, RML may go to any extent to defend its running mines, which has iron ore reserve of 39.42 million tonnes. Top officials of RML are monitoring the online bidding from Chaibasa in Jharkhand while Company officials both in Keonjhar-Sundargarh spending sleepless nights to defend their mines because of the aggressive bidding by some big Steel makers as well as Merchant miners. Apart from RML, Serajuddin & Co, Lal Traders, Rungta Mines, Eastern Mining, JSPL, Adani and JSW Steel are in the fray.
Of the 19 enlisted mines, the bidding process has been completed for six.JSW has won three blocks – Nuagaon (January 31),Narayanposhi (February 2) and Ganua (February 5) – with total ore reserve of 1098.92 million tonnes.
Shyam Ore bagged the Jilling-Langalota iron ore block in Odisha’s Keonjhar district by committing to pay 135 per cent of sale to the Odisha government on Wednesday (February 5).
On Tuesday (February 4), Serajuddin and Co retained Balda iron ore block during the auction that went past midnight (2.41 am). ArcelorMittal India Pvt Ltd had won Thakurani iron ore block notified for auction in Odisha on Monday (February 3).
With Serajuddin & Co retained their Balada Block and Mahavir Prasad Agarwal led Shyam Ore snatched away Jilling Block of 70 MT reserve from Essel Mining and Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group, leading Merchant miners Rungta Mines Ltd and all its subsidiaries are gearing up to defend their running mines. Sources said, top brasses of RML group are estimating profit and loss if they go high to defend their mines.
The Odisha Government so far till Thursday morning has auctioned as many as 6 Iron Ore Mines blocks under Joda-Koira circle of State’s mineral rich Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts. As many as 21 mines to be auctioned those expiring by March 31, 2020.
Official sources manning the online bidding process , however informed that, so far, out of 6 mines auctioned, Sajjan Jindal led JSW Steel topped the list with 3 major mines including Nuagoan and Ganua blocks of KJS Ahluwalia and Prashant Ahluwalia Brothers and Narayanposhi block of Naman Saraf led Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation Ltd under Joda-Koira circle.
Meanwhile, Serajuddin and Co has so far the only merchant miners, which gave a befitting reply to Big Steel makers and surprised many and finally retained Balda iron ore block in Keonjhar.
Most shocking development during the auction that, Essel Mining and Industries Ltd, a subsidiary of Aditya Birla Group lost to a small time Kolkata based Mahavir Prasad Agarwal led Shyam Group. The EMIL held Jilling-Langalota Iron Ore Block in Odisha’s Keonjhar will be now under control of Shyam Ore.
Laxmi Mittal led ArcelorMittal India Pvt Ltd had won Thakurani iron ore block- from Ahluwalia brothers in Keonjhar.
In the ongoing bidding, the most suffered mine owners were Ahluwalia Brothers as they lost control over 3 major mines of Nuagaon, Ganua and Thakurani. It may be mentioned here that, the same Ahluwalia Brothers with B Prabhakaran of Thriveni Earth Movers were playing their cards. With Ahluwalia Brothers are losing the ground in Joda-Koira circle, it would also hit B Prabhakaran’s mining contract business, sources said.
“What we were indicating that Miners should Bid aggressively to retain their mines, now after Serajuddin and Co retained Balda mines, this may be a game changer for other miners like Rungta Mines Ltd and miners should come forward to retain their mines. And it was a very bold step by Serajuddin and Co,” said an Industry expert in Bhubaneswar.
Sources said, RML also may have planning for aggressive bidding to retain their mines. RML has major mines under Joda-Koira mining circle of Odisha’s Keonjhar and Sundargarh district.
“Since 3 major forts of Ahluwalia Brothers have came out of their hands , they are now fighting for the battle of self-respect to save their empire, the aggressive bidding by Serajuddin and Co might have inspired them to go up to any extent,” said a Joda-Barbil based Industrialist.