Govt Launches Second Tranche Of Auction For Commercial Coal Mining, Offering 67 Mines Across Six States

India launched its second tranche of auction for commercial coal mining offering 67 mines for sale of coal. This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche of auction after commencement of the auction regime since 2014.

Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi on Thursday (25 March) launched the auction process in a programme held in New Delhi.

The coal mines on offer are a mix of mines with small and large reserves, coking and non-coking mines and fully and partially explored mines spread across Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, the Ministry of Coal said in a statement.

“Commercial coal mining will bring in new investments, create huge employment opportunities and boost socio-economic development in coal-bearing states. A market-based coal economy will help the nation become Atma Nirbhar in coal,” Prahlad Joshi said.

The Coal Minister also said that by looking at the past success, the government is moving towards adopting a ‘Rolling Auction’ mechanism for conducting future auctions. Coal is the first mineral resource where the Rolling Auction mechanism is being implemented in which a pool of coal blocks will always remain available for auctions.

“With rolling auctions, we will upload a comprehensive list of mines along with key technical data and bidders can submit their preferences for the mines to be included in the next tranche of auction. This would be a continuous process and would result in expediting the auction setup. Moreover, it will also help bidders in planning better and would further enhance transparency in the system,” he added.

Notably, 19 mines were successfully auctioned in the first-ever tranche of commercial coal mining auctions held last year with the premium quoted by the successful bidders ranging from 9.5 per cent to 66.75 per cent.

The agreements between the Ministry of Coal and the successful bidders were signed in January this year. States will fetch around Rs 7000 crores of revenues from these auctions considering production at peak rated capacity of 51 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA).