By Our Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR: As many as 14 leading Companies including few Merchant miners are in race for the RP Sao held Guali Iron Ore Block in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar district.The block, which earlier reserved for State PSU, OMECL, was for auction.
Guali mining lease area over 365.026 hectares and has a reserve of 183 million tonne is located in five villages namely Guali, Panduliposi, Rugudihi, Laidapada and Topadihi in P.S/Tehsil Barbil and district Keonjhar.
Earlier, the State Government has reserved Tata Steel’s Sukinda chromite mine and RP Sao’s iron ore mine for OMECL and it had also written to the Centre for approval but the state’s decision was believed to have had stemmed from the recent ordinance by the Narendra Modi government and an unwillingness to delay the resumption of any working mine lapsing in less than three months.
Centre’s 10th January ordinance amending the Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation Act debarred Odisha to handover the mines to OMECL. The ordinance extends a seamless transfer of environment and other statutory clearances for a period of two years to the one emerging as the highest bidder.
Green clearances granted under the Forest (Conservation) Act and the Environmental Protection Act (and not under the MMDR Act) had until now been considered coterminus with a lease — a view that the Supreme Court had also upheld in the past. “The ordinance however, makes no provision for a lease reserved for a state PSU despite the fact that the Centre was well aware of our decision to reserve these deposits,”