Setting aside fear of iron ore shortage following lapse of mining lease of certain companies, Odisha government on Friday said it has readied at least 36 mines for auction.
“We are aware of the fact that 24 working mines will be closed in 2020. The state government has so far readied 20 mines to go for auction,” Odisha’s Steel and Mines minister Prafulla Kumar Mallik told reporters.
This apart, the minister said there are 16 other mines ready to go for auction. Therefore, a total of 36 mines are ready for auction in Odisha.
Mallik, however, said that the efforts are on for putting the mines on auction early so that iron ore production is not hampered in the state.
Odisha is the highest producer of iron ore having capaity of 55 million tonne production per annum.
The minister said the state owned Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) which produces 16 million tonne of iron ore per annum has set a target to increase its production to 20 million tonne in 2019-20.
The OMC in 2018-19 generated a revenue of Rs 10,479 crore, sources said.