e-auction for iron ore in Karnataka to begin from Sept 14

"The first auction will be conducted on September 14," said an official of the MSTC, which has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting e-auctions by the apex court.
An official of Karnataka's Mines and Geology Department also confirmed the development, while adding that "iron and steel units have been invited to register for the e-auction on September 14".

The official further said, "Initially, auctions will be 12,000 tonnes per week (for different grades of iron ore), while the target is to increase it to about 40,000 tonnes a day".
This will gradually be raised to the Supreme Court directed levels of 1.5 million tonnes a month, the Karnataka state government official added.

When asked about the next round of auctions, after September 14, the official said, "It will depend upon the situation. It can be once in a week or thrice in a month".
Talking about the price of the iron ore, the state government official said that it will be based on prices prevailing in the markets of China/Japan sans export duty and transportation costs to the ports.

The domestic taxes will, however, be applicable, the official added.The auctions are expected to provide a temporary relief to the iron and steel industry in the state, which has been reeling under severe shortage of iron ore following a mining ban imposed by the apex court in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts earlier.

The apex court, while banning the mining due to large scale environmental degradation of area, had permitted to auction 1.5 million tonnes (MT) iron ore per month through e-auction route from the stock of 25.88 MT, lying at the mines in the state.

Besides this, a 3-member monitoring committee, headed by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Deepak Sharma, was constituted to deal with sale and transportation of the existing stock of iron ore and maintain account of the sales proceeds.

Moreover, MSTC Ltd, a mini-ratna PSU specialised in e-commerce, was entrusted to do the auctions.

According to industry sources, the monitoring committee is currently concentrating on stocks in mines of Bellary, which are estimated at 14 MT.

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