Even as Goa is all set to resume mining operations from the beginning of October, the Directorate of Mining and Geology (DMG) is facing a tough time to find prospective buyers for e-auction of extracted ore.
Of over 15.5 million tonnes (MT) of unused ore lying across various jetties in the state, only 5.5 MT have been sold until the seventh auction, with a sales value of Rs 780 core, including royalty and taxes. However, the balance 10 MT of iron ore remains stuck. During its eighth auction on Tuesday, of the total 1.10 MT of iron ore, only 0.25 MT were sold, with the base price pegged between the lowest of Rs 500 per tonnes for 41 grade of iron ore to Rs 860 per tonnes for the 61 grader.
However, department sources claim that the main reason for the lacklustre response to the e-auction is that the base price pegged at Rs. 500 per tonne is substantially higher than the current market price of iron-ore. “In the prevailing market conditions, flexibility in base price might evoke better response from the stakeholders to participate in the bidding process. Of late, only a minimal stock has been sold close to the base rate,” they said.
Since the e-auction has been undertaken under the supervision of the Supreme Court-monitored expert panel through Multi Scrap Trading Platform (MSTC), the DMG can only recommend to the panel on the revision.