Salgaocar Shipping secures 2nd iron ore mining block at Goa auction

Salgaocar Shipping Company Pvt Ltd has emerged as the successful bidder for the second block of iron ore mining leases in Goa auctioned 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 Salgaonkar 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 Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant.

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 the Salgaocar family.

Four blocks are up for auctions, three blocks 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.

Vedanta emerged as the successful bidder for Block 1; Bicholim after it quoted 63.55% of revenue share with the Goa government. It was the first block of iron ore leases that went under the hammer, which Dr. Sawant said, marked the beginning of new era in Goa’s mining sector.

As per the procedure adopted by the state government, the top five bidders, who are technically qualified for the auction, are eligible to participate in the auction. Since there were five bidders for the first block, all five were eligible to participate in the auction.

The other three auction blocks are scheduled to be up for auction by December 21, as per the schedule released by the mines department.

The state government has received 28 bids from 11 companies for the four mining blocks. The government has already approved another lot of seven blocks for auction in a subsequent auction.

The state expects to hand over possession of the lease to the winning bidder within fifteen days, Dr. Sawant stated.

The tender document said the successful bidder 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 bidder has up to three years to begin operations after he is 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 he can secure all the clearances and begin operations within a year’s time,” said Suresh Shanbhogue, Director of Mines.


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