Jharkhand to Auction Gold Mine-2 by May

New Delhi: Jharkhand is all set to become the second state in the country to auction a gold mine—two, in this case—and will come out with tenders for the blocks by April-end or in the first week of May.

The government has already set the ball rolling for the auction process. The state has already successfully auctioned two small limestone blocks in February this year, which are prospecting lease-cum-mining lease.

A senior government official said the state will bring out notice inviting tenders for Pahardia block in West Singhbum district and Parasi block in Ranchi district. Jharkhand had tried to auction its first gold mine in the Pahardia block earlier this year.

Three companies, including mining giant Vedanta Ltd, had evinced interest, but later it did not participate in the same, he added. The state then shelved the auction, saying it will again invite fresh bids, the official said.

Confirming the development, another official said: “Now the state is close to finalizing the notice inviting tenders for Pahardia and Parasi blocks. They are likely to come out with the notice inviting tenders either in last week of April or by the first week of May.”

The Pahardia block is estimated to have a reserve of 1.16 million tonnes of the precious metal at 2.12 grams per tonne. It is also estimated to have silver (1.16 tonnes), copper (232.4 tonnes), lead (581 tonnes), zinc (1,859 tonnes), nickel (2,905 tonnes) and quartz (1.16 million tonnes).

Parasi has an estimated gold reserve of 7.47 million tonnes at the rate of 0.5 grams per tonne and 3.71 million tonnes at 1 gram per tonne.

In February this year, Chhattisgarh became the first state in the country to auction a gold mine. Vedanta won the auction for Baghmara (Sonakhan) gold mine, located in the Balodabazaar-Bhatapara district of Chhattisgarh.