The government of the Indian state of Odisha has suspended the auction of the Karlapat bauxite and iron ore block after a regional court ordered the sale to be placed on hold.
The court’s decision came after environmentalists filed suit to prevent the sale, as the block is adjacent to the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a designated elephant corridor and is considered to be an ecologically sensitive area in Kalahandi.
“In compliance to the interim order of the Hon’ble High Court of Odisha dated 9th September 2021, auction process of Karlapat Bauxite Block has been put on hold till further notice.
“The invitation of bids for grant of mining lease for iron ore, iron ore and manganese, iron ore and dolomite and bauxite minerals dated July 7, 2021, was issued by the Odisha government.”
The Karlapat block was one of almost a dozen tracts put up for auction by the Odisha government, with seven of those tracts untapped mines. The bidding on the eleven tracts commenced on Saturday.
To date the Odisha government has received 123 bids on the eleven mineral deposits up for sale. Among the bidders are Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Adani, JSW, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, Essel Mining and Industries Limited, Rungta Mines Ltd, MSPL, Vedanta, and NMDC.
So far JSPL won the 194.18-hectare Kasai iron ore block at a premium of 118.1 percent. ESL Steel nailed down the 73.85-hectare Nadidih iron ore tract for a premium of 95.6 percent.