Mining blocks finally go under the hammer

Out of the twenty eight bids for the four mining blocks which were auctioned off, three were bagged by companies from Goa

The State Government held the auctions of mineral blocks out of which three are in North Goa – Monte de Sirigao, Sirigao-Mayem and Bicholim previously owned by M/s Rajaram Bandekar, Chowgule & Co and Sesa Mining  Corporation – and one in South Goa at Kalay, previously owned by NS Narvekar.

Four Goan mining companies Fomento, V M Salgaocar, Salgaocar Mining and Rajaram Bandekar Mines Pvt Ltd submitted bids for three of the four mining blocks that had been put up for auction.
Eleven mining companies had submitted twenty eight bids for the four blocks.


Vedanta Ltd. won the bid to purchase the first iron ore block in Goa, located in the Taluka of Bicholim. The real mining operations, however, are most likely to begin after the monsoon next year. The state government’s ongoing efforts, according to Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant, led to the successful auctioning off of Bicholim, Goa’s first iron ore mining block. Since the Supreme Court’s 2012 ban on mining operations, the Chief Minister claimed that no iron ore has been extracted.

According to Dr. Sawant, the Vedanta business formerly managed this specific iron ore block in Bicholim. As the government has demanded that locals must be given preference, this will enable it to keep hiring the same people for mining operations.
Dr Sawant predicted that within a year, mining activities will pick up steam in the state and provide income for both, the stakeholders and the government.

There were five bidders for the Bicholim block. Vedanta rose to the top bidder position for it. According to the mines director, Suresh Shanbhogue, the entire cost of the resources from the four blocks is estimated to be `43,000 crore.
The winning bidder firms would pay a premium amount equal to 215 crore, or 0.05% of the Actual Sale Price (ASL), according to the Indian Bureau of Mines. Three years is the maximum amount of time that mining companies have from the day that the agreement was signed to get all the licences necessary to operate the blocks.

“In our opinion, six to seven months should be sufficient for them to acquire the necessary licences, including environmental clearance. And perhaps after the 2023 monsoon, actual operations will start,” the director said.


Salgaocar Shipping Company Pvt Ltd has emerged as the successful bidder for the second block of iron ore mining leases promising to share 99.25% of the average sale price of the ore with the Goa government.
“The Bicholim Block-2 has been secured by Salgaocar Shipping Company Pvt Limited at the auction. The Directorate of Mines and Geology has successfully conducted the auction process in a transparent manner. It asserts the clean and efficient approach of the Government of Goa,” said the Chief Minister.

The winning bidder will be allocated the mine for 50 years.
The company is run by Arjun and Sameer Salgaocar, sons of Goa’s mining baron and former legislator Anil Salgaocar who died in 2016, and is part of the group of companies run by Anil Salgaocar family.
The state expects to hand over possession of the lease to the winning bidder within fifteen days, Dr. Sawant stated.


The Monte de Sirigao iron ore block has been retained by the Narayan Rajaram Bandekar (NRB) Group. The group was operating the mine before the lease was taken over by the state government.
Bandekar bagged the block with the highest auction premium of 111.28 per cent revenue share (99.2%) of the average sale price fixed by the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM).

Of the four blocks, the Monte de Sirigao one saw the highest number of bidders participate. The ten companies that participated included Arcellor Mittal; Kirloskar; Shri Jagannath Steels and Power Ltd; NRB Group; MSP Ltd; Fomento; Kai International; JSW; Vedanta; and Salgaocar Shipping.
The state government has estimated minerals worth `43000 crore in all four mining blocks going for auction. The iron ore reserve has been estimated at over nine million tonne at Monte de Sirigao.


Sociedade De Fomento Industries Pvt Ltd has won the final bid for Kalay mining block in Sanguem taluka.
The company, led by Auduth Timblo, bidded highest premium of 86.40 per cent of the average sale price of the Indian Bureau of Mines.

The mine, with erstwhile owner N S Narvekar, has got 16.731 million tonnes of iron ore in the unexplored lease area of 75 hactares. Here, 3.93 million tonnes of ore is blocked since the area falls within one-km of Eco-Sensitive Zone.
The tender document mentions that successful bidders will have to obtain forest clearances, wildlife clearances and environmental clearances afresh among a list of more than 15 clearances that will be required.

“The winning bidders have up to three years to begin operations after they are handed over the letter of intent. If not, then the lease reverts back to the government. But we expect that since the same mining company has won the bid once again, we are hopeful that they can secure all the clearances and begin operations within a year’s time,” said Shanbhogue.

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