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Coal ministry invites bids for third round of auction

The government on Monday kick-started the process for auction of 10 coal blocks in the third tranche, inviting bids from companies engaged in sectors like steel, cement and captive power generation. “The government of India has directed the nominated authority to undertake the auction of 10 identified schedule II & III coal mines to eligible companies. Accordingly, bids are invited … from eligible companies for shortlisting of qualified bidders,” the coal ministry said in a notice inviting tender.

“Qualified bidders will be allowed to participate in the auction for the coal mines,” the ministry said.

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Government last week said that it will auction 10 coal mines with reserves of 858.19 million tonnes for steel, cement as well as captive power plants and the process will be completed by August end.

The government has so far auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies and garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore, surpassing CAG’s loss estimates of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of mines earlier without auction.

Of the total estimated geological reserves, these mines have extractable coal of about 356.245 million tonnes and are located in Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.

Coal secretary Anil Swarup had said that the government will execute agreements with successful bidders by August 31 and “so the process by and large will be completed by August 31”.

The Supreme Court in September last year had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies without auction.

Under schedule II category (producing) mines, two will be auctioned, while in the schedule III (ready to produce) eight mines will be put on offer.

The two mines in schedule II category are MarkiMangli-I mine in Maharashtra and Parbatpur-Central mine in Jharkhand. Both are explored blocks having extractable reserves of 62.12 million tonnes.

The eight mines in the schedule III category are Dongri Tal-II mine (Madhya Pradesh), KosarDongergaon (Maharashtra), Margi Mangli-IV (Maharashtra), Majra (Maharashtra), Chitarpur (Jharkhand), Bhaskarpara (Chhattisgarh), Sondiha (Chhattisgarh) and Jamkhani (Odisha).


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