By Anurjay Dhal
BHUBANESWAR: Till Saturday morning, as many as 15 out of the 19 Iron Ore and Manganese Blocks under Joda-Koira-Rairangpur mining circles of Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar,Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj districts have been auctioned so far.
The premium offered by various Merchant Miners and Big Steel makers to bag to these mines blocks have raised many eyebrows as to how the new lease holders will manage it. It may be noted here that mining sector in Odisha was badly hit over the past 5 years due to a scam worth Rs 80,000 crore and several round of probes are going on but another Big Scam is in offing considering the high premium offered by bidders in ongoing mining bidding.
Sajjan Jindal led JSW Steel topping the list with 4 Big mines followed by Serajuddin and Co and its subsidiary Yazdani International, Kashiv International -Debabrata Behera, ArcellorMittal India Pvt Ltd, Shaym, Ore, Patnaik Minerals Pvt Ltd, KN Ram Mines Pvt Ltd, Sociedad De Fomento Industrial Pvt Ltd, Vishal LPG Fuels Pvt Ltd and Ghanshyam Mishra and Sons Pvt Ltd so far won blocks while big players like KJS Ahluwalia and Prasant Ahluwalia brothers, Essel Mining and Industries Ltd of Aditya Birla Group , the Chaibasa, Jharkhand headquarters, Rungta Mines Group were among those isolated in the current bidding. Ahluwalia Brothers lost 3 of their major Blocks while RML Group lost around 5 Blocks till now followed by couple of blocks of EMIL.
Meanwhile, several activists in Bhubaneswar alleged about irregular, conspiracy-driven iron ore auctions as they argued that premiums crossing as high as 150% and more.“The current bidding has widened abundant scale for a massive Mining Scam and the Naveen Patnaik led BJD Government has to clarify about the aggressive bidding, which will promote mining scam,” said an activist.
“The aggressive biddings with an aim to loot the Odisha’s valuable iron ore are the reasult of a nexus between a few Industrial Houses, close to the power corridor, political leaders, bureaucrats and Mines Contractors,” said he. He also raised finger towards a nexus between Sajjan Jindal of JSW Steel and B Prabhakaran of Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd, the most talked about Mining Contractor.
Till Saturday morning, surprising all, Kashvi International Pvt Ltd on Friday(February 14) bagged the Jaribahal iron ore block in the ongoing mining auction in Odisha. The iron ore mines was earlier with by Patnaik Minerals. It was 15th of 19th mines auctioned.
Odisha’s Keonjhar-based company won the mines by committing to pay 150 per cent of the average sale price to the Odisha government, said an official.
Spread over an area of 106.53 ha, Jaribahal iron ore block has an estimated iron ore reserve of 7.15 MT.
Nine companies- Kashvi, Yazdani, Patnaik Steel, Gallant Ispat, Ramgad sponge, Amalgam, CP Sponge & MGM Mineral were in the race for the mines but Kashvi International Pvt Ltd bagged Jaribahal Iron Ore Block.
On Thursday(February 13), Odisha-based miner Debabrata Behera bagged Siljora-Kalimati iron ore and manganese block at 154%, the highest-quoted premium so far in the ongoing mining auction in the state.The lease of Siljora-Kalimati iron ore and manganese block was with ML Rungta.
Odisha-based miner Debabrata Behera bagged Siljora-Kalimati iron ore and manganese block at 154%, the highest-quoted premium so far in the ongoing mining auction in the State on Thursday(February 13).The lease of Siljora-Kalimati iron ore and manganese block was with ML Rungta.
The composite mine has an estimated reserve of 0.72 MT iron ore and 3.846 MT manganese. This is the 14th of 19 mines enlisted for auction in Odisha.
Yazdani International (P) Ltd had bagged Kalmong iron ore and manganese block at a premium of 100 per cent on Wednesday(February 12).On Tuesday(February 11), Vishal LPG Fuels Pvt Ltd bagged another composite mine, Nadidih iron ore and manganese mine in Sundargarh district.
Like KJS Ahluwalia and Prasant Ahluwalia brothers, the Chaibasa, Jharkhand headquarters, Rungta Mines Group too isolated in the current bidding. Ahluwalia Brothers lost 3 of their major Blocks while RML Group lost around 4 to 5 Blocks till now.
Lessee Ghanashyam Misra and Sons Pvt Ltd Mishra & Sons Pvt Ltd on Tuesday (February 11) retained Gorumahisani iron ore block in Odisha auction at a premium of 115 per cent.
On Sunday (February 9), Goa-based mining form Sociedad De Fomento Industrial Pvt Ltd bagged Nadidih iron ore block by committing to pay the average sale of 141.25 per cent to the state government.
Patnaik Minerals Pvt Ltd bagged Mahulsukha iron ore and manganese mines in Odisha, which went under the hammer, at a premium of 92.70 per cent on Saturday (February 8).
On Friday (February 4), Kolkata-based Khatua Narbheram & Co. retained the Roida II iron ore mines at a premium of 90.90 per cent.
JSW has won four blocks – Nuagaon (January 31),Narayanposhi (February 2) and Ganua (February 5) and Jajang (January 6) – with total ore reserve of 1,138.34 million tonnes.
Shyam Ore bagged the Jilling-Langalota iron ore block in Odisha’s Keonjhar district by committing to pay 135 per cent of average sale price 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
The first block that was auctioned for Nuagaon mines of 792.93 MnT reserves was won by JSW Steel Ltd with 95.2 per cent bidding for the block. The second block was auctioned for Narayanaposhi mines with 190.6 MnT reserves and was also won by JSW Steel with its bid at 98.55 per cent. The JSW Steel bagged the 14th iron ore block in auction by committing to pay 110 per cent of the sale to the State Government for Jajang in Keonjhar district.
The Thakurani(reserves 180 MnT), fetched a premium at 107.55 per cent and was won by ArcelorMittal. The Balda iron ore (reserves 210.17 MnT) was retained by Serajuddin and Co. at a premium of 118.05 per cent. Shyam Ore even bagged the Jilling-Langalota iron ore block in Keonjhar district by committing to pay 135 per cent of sale to the Odisha Government. The Tata Steel, Steel Authority of India Limited and JSPL have not been bidding aggressively, sources said.
This premium is a percentage of the price of the iron ore that is set by the Indian Bureau of Mines each month for different States and grades. The premium will be taken by the State. So Serajuddin and Co. which owned at a premium of 118.05 per cent will pay 118.05 percent of the monthly value of the IBM set price of iron ore to the State Government. This will be on per tonne of iron ore sold by the company. Many small players like Shyam Ore, Debabrata Behera, Kashiv International and KN Ram will also pay high premium ranging from 100% to 150%.
Apart from the premium , the new owners will pay to the State Government a royalty of 15 percent of base price, DMF fund contribution 30 percent of royalty and National Mineral Exploration Trust of 2 per cent of royalty that will be charged separately on the base price. Premium and royalty will be charged on sales of iron ore, sources added.
The high premiums will lead to illegal mining, unethical market manipulation, rate fixing and other massive mines corruption. Since many of the large companies are emerging as the winners, they will become the new price makers in the market and the ultimate burden will pass to the consumers, they alleged.
They expressed grave concern over the manipulated system of iron ore mining business in the State, urged the Government to act immediately to ensure the interest of the State and the people was protected.