Chhattisgarh government is all set to publicly auction a gold mine, for the first time in the country, on 26 February. The Baghmara gold mine will be auctioned for mining operations much on the lines of coal block auctions even as Odisha will be putting an iron ore block under the hammer in March.
Out of the 46 mineral blocks put up for auction so far, states have been able to conduct successful auction of only four limestone blocks, from which the government expects to garner around Rs6,700 crore.
"We expect to conduct successful auction of both the blocks - gold and iron ore - because of the commercial value attached to the mineral. It will be a first for both metals in the ongoing auctions. Gold mine is on February 26 and iron ore is on 2 March 2016," a senior government official said.
In total, 14 iron ore blocks are on offer from the states, which include 14 in Karnataka and one each in Maharashtra and Odisha, while Jharkhand will also be putting up a mining block for gold.
The government expects that the auction of the gold and iron ore mines will help revive industry's interest, which has not shown much enthusiasm in the ongoing mines auction so far.
The mines auction in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan failed to find many takers, forcing the state governments to talk to industry and work on re-auctioning the blocks.
The centre expects the 12 mineral-producing states to offer as many as 70 mines bearing minerals such as iron ore, gold, bauxite, tungsten and limestone in the first phase, expected to be concluded by March.
In March last year, Parliament passed the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, which paved the way for states to auction iron ore and non-coal mineral mines.