By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, January 6, 2020: Odisha has received 255 bids for 20 merchant mines till January 3, the deadline for submitting technical and financial bids. All 20 blocks have their lease validity ceasing by March 31, 2020.

Earlier on December 3, 2019, the state government had annulled the auctions due to some contentious clauses in the model tender documents. However, the Odisha government soon relaunched the online auctions by notifying the fresh Notice Inviting Tenders (NITs) on December 6 after tuning some changes in the recast tender documents.

Official sources said there has been an overwhelming response to the state government’s call for online auctions.

The next stage is the technical qualification of the bidders. After the technical scrutiny, the top 50 per cent of the IPOs (Initial Price Offers) made by bidders would make it to the next stage of electronic auctions. The evaluation is expected to be done by this month end, said the officials added. The conduct of ascending forward electronic auctions and submission of final price offer on the auction platform will be done between January 31 and February 21, 2020 while the Letter of Intent (LoI) is to be issued from February 10 to February 29, 2020.

Top steel makers, secondary steel players, sponge iron producers, pellet manufacturers and merchant miners from Goa and Odisha are looking to garner the blocks on offer. Almost all leading steel producers- ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, JSW Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) and others are in the fray to acquire the lapsing leases.

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