Chhattisgarh auctioned the nation’s most “expensive” limestone block- Kesla-II at Tilda, about 40 km east of Raipur on 02 May 2017.The bidding which began on Monday went on for a record 23 hours, and the highest bid received was 96.15 percent of the IBM ((Indian Bureau of Mines) prices. It is about 20 times more than the reserve price and Dalmia Cement emerged as the preferred bidder.“Total revenue that the State would receive from this auction has surpassed that of all the previous non-coal mineral blocks at Rs 11,893 crore over the life of mines. Chhattisgarh has broken the national record of obtaining the highest bid for any limestone block, previously held by Rajasthan at 67.94% of IBM prices for its limestone block at Nagaur district,” Subodh Kumar Singh, secretary (Industry) told the New Indian Express.The Kesla-II block covers over 357 hectares with an average grade of 43 per cent CaO. Chhattisgarh has to its credit, the conduction of India’s first ever successful non-coal mineral auction in February, 2016, and is the only State to have auctioned a gold mine which was won by Vedanta Limited, a global diversified natural resource company.To bring in transparency in the allocation process, the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015, stipulated auctioning as the mode of allocation of mineral resources, and empowered the State to conduct the auction.Since then, over 20 blocks have been successfully auctioned across various States in India.According to Subodh Kumar Singh, the bids were invited on the condition that it would be used for Clinker/Cement plants. “In the Chhattisgarh government’s experience, value addition of mineral resources is the apt way forward for the socio-economic development of the nation,” he said.