With poor response for e-auction, Goa Govt urges SC to reduce ore price

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 08 October 2015 22:22 IST

Goa government has requested the Supreme Court to allow to e-auction the iron ore at a realistic price by reducing the existing price.

Prasanna Acharya, director of mines, said an affidavit has been filed before the apex court, requesting to reduce the minimum price for e-auction.

Goa government was auctioning the ore online at Rs 500 per tonne.

Following the ban on mining in 2012, the government had seized 16.56 MT of iron ore, which is being e-auctioned as per the Supreme Court guidelines.

However, seven e-auctions held since May this year have received poor response as the price of low grade iron ore has crashed in the international market.

Thus, largely Sesa Sterile was purchasing around 15 to 25 per cent of the ore auctioned each time, to use for its local pig iron plant.

“The monitoring committee of the Supreme Court had told us not to sell the ore at a price below Rs 500 per tonne”, said Acharya.

The six-month term of the committee has expired, due to which the state government has now approached the Supreme Court to reconsider the price.

In spite of this, Goa has earned Rs 818 crore through e-auction so far.

The mines department has conducted 12 e-auctions since February last year.

Pending the decision by the apex court, the mines department would have the thirteenth e-auction this month.

“We will have it this month, though the exact date is not decided”, said Acharya.

Out of total 16.56 million tonnes, the last slot of 1.34 MT of iron ore would be now auctioned any time after 12 October.

Meanwhile, the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Limited, India’s largest exporter of minerals from India, has already submitted a proposal to sell the iron ore in government custody at a good price.

“We will study the MMTC proposal and take a decision accordingly”, informed Acharya.

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