By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, September, 23 2021: The Odisha government has put the auction of Karlapat iron ore and bauxite block on hold till further notice following a court order.

Environmentalists were opposed to the mining operation in the area, as the block lies near the Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, a designated elephant corridor in Kalahandi district considered ecologically very sensitive.

The Directorate of Mines under the Steel and Mines Department of the Odisha government, in a notice on Tuesday said, “In compliance to the interim order of the Hon”ble High Court of Orissa‚Ķdated 09th Sep 2021, auction process of Karlapat Bauxite Block has been put on hold till further notice.”

The directorate said that 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.

Karlapat was among the 11 mineral blocks, including seven virgin mines, put up for auction by the Odisha government for which the bidding process began on Saturday.

In the auction process, Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) bagged the Kasia iron ore block at a premium of 118.1 per cent. Seven companies were in the race for the mining block, spread over 194.19 hectares with geological resources of 278.04 million tonnes of iron ore (with an average Fe grade of 63.2 pc) and 0.693 MT of dolomite ore.

ESL Steel Ltd won the Nadidih iron ore block in Sundergarh district by committing to pay a premium of 95.6 per cent. The mineral block, spread over 73.85 hectares, is one of the oldest in Koira mining sector.

The state has so far received 123 bids for the 11 mineral deposits. Major players in the race include Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Adani, JSW, Tata Steel, ArcelorMittal, Essel Mining and Industries Limited, Rungta Mines Ltd, MSPL, Vedanta and NMDC.

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