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Offshore mineral blocks’ auction process to begin in 2-3 months: Secy

The government will begin the auction process for offshore mineral blocks in the next two-three months, Mines Secretary V L Kantha Rao said on Thursday.
“…Ministry of Mines will start the auction process in next 2-3 months for these offshore blocks,” he said.
The government already has 35 offshore mineral blocks identified by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) for auction, Rao said, adding that 24 more blocks are in the pipeline which will be given to the mines ministry for sale, an official statement said.
“As the process of auctioning of offshore blocks for exploration and exploitation is a new domain, for this initiative to succeed in a meaningful way, Mines Ministry is working on the Amendments in the Offshore Areas Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 2002,” he said.
Moreover, the Centre is also in the process of developing a standard operating procedures to be followed if a private sector bidder wins the block for exploration, Rao said.
The secretary was speaking at a