Mining

Virendra Singh Rawat / Lucknow

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath has ordered for competitive bidding of gold and the platinum group of metals in the state.

In fact, the government is already in the process of floating a global tender for awarding the lease of gold mines in Sonbhadra district of Vindhyachal region.

The state has identified about 17 gold, potash and rock phosphate mines, of which global tender would be floated for eight mines in the first phase.

The Yogi government 2.0 has set a target of almost Rs 5,000 crore in mining revenues during the current financial year 2022-23. As such, the state is speeding up the mineralisation of precious metals and vital minerals such as gold, platinum, potash etc.

Presiding over a review meeting here recently, the CM directed the UP geology and mining department to expedite the competitive bidding process in earnest for the different categories of minerals and precious metals, including gold, platinum etc.

Other minerals include rock phosphate, andalusite, gold, glauconite (potash), iron ore, sillimanite and a few refractory minerals.

Following a preliminary investigation by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the state geology and mining department earlier, the presence of gold was affirmed in Diyaganj, Sona Pahadi and Kota areas of Sonbhadra.

Later, the department had identified three mines for prospective extraction of precious metals. The gold mining will not only fetch revenue to the state coffers, but also generate local employment and spur economic activities.

Moreover, the state government is looking to float a global tender for potash mines in Sonbhadra, while a similar process would be undertaken for three mines of rock phosphate in Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand region.

Last year, the government had roped in SBI Capital Markets as transaction advisor for steering the proposed e-auction of major minerals. The e-auction route is being adopted for the first time for greater transparency, higher revenues and generating mining based jobs.

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Public sector entity MSTC Limited was mandated to provide its e-auction platform for the newly explored mines in UP.

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