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State miner NMDC says has won race for Andhra Pradesh gold mine

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Indian state-owned miner NMDC is the highest bidder in a government e-auction for a gold mine in Andhra Pradesh, beating resources conglomerates Vedanta and Adani, NMDC Chairman Baijendra Kumar told Reuters.

NMDC is expected to invest about 4 billion rupees ($58.3 million) in the project, Kumar said without providing further detail on the company’s bid. The mine has an estimated 2.2 million tonnes of gold.

The state government is likely to notify NMDC as the bid winner some time next week, said Sreenivas Chowdary, deputy director of mines for Andhra Pradesh, confirming that Adani and Vedanta Resources had also bid.

Both Adani and Vedanta did not immediately reply to a Reuters email seeking comments.

NMDC would get a 50-year lease to operate the mine, Chowdary said.

The project would be NMDC’s first gold mine in India, Kumar said, adding that the company expects to start mining gold within two years of gaining licences.

The company already has a gold mine in Tanzania.

($1 = 68.6000 Indian rupees)

Editing by David Goodman and Jane Merriman