By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, October 24, 2019: A Tata Steel subsidiary has emerged as the highest bidder for the Saruabil chrome deposit in Odisha, with a bid of 88.5 per cent of the sale value of the mineral.

The deposit is currently held by Misrilall Ltd which will lapse on March 31, 2020 along with other leases. It also bagged the Kamarda deposit held by BC Mohanty and Sons with a bid of 96.8 per cent sources said.

In a bid to earn more out of the bids besides royalty and taxes, the Naveen Patnaik government has begun auctioning chromite and iron ore mines, which is scheduled to lapse at the end of March next year.

The Saruabil mine is a prized asset for its superior geological properties. With a bid of 88.5 per cent (or 96.8 per cent for Kamarda) however, the Tata Steel subsidiary, TS Alloys is understood to be paying the state more than what it would earn from selling chrome in the market once its paid royalty (15 percent), its contributions to district mineral fund and National Mineral Exploration Trust (another per cent) and other taxes.

Twelve companies were in the fray with six making it to the second stage of the auction for Misrlall.

Chrome is used in the making of ferrochrome which in turn is used to make stainless steel. While Tata Steel has ferro alloy plants in Bamnipal and Joda in Odisha. As the highest bidder, TS Alloys has two years to get statutory clearances before it gets a grant and can start mining.

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