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Commercial mining: Centre re-invites bids for 4 coal blocks in first round of auction

PTI     December 13, 2020

The coal ministry has again invited bids for four coal blocks whose tender process was annulled in the first round of auction for commercial mining, as the number of technically qualified bidder for each mine was just one. Of the four coal blocks, three are in Odisha and one is in Jharkhand.

"The nominated authority conducted the first attempt of 11th tranche of auction under CM(SP) Act and 1st tranche of auction under the MMDR Act of identified coal mines/ blocks vide tender document dated June 18, 2020," the coal ministry said in a notice inviting tender.

It added that as the number of technically qualified bidders for the tender was less than 2 for Chendipada, Chendipada-II and Kuraloi (A) North coal mines in Odisha and Seregarha block in Jharkhand, the process was annulled.

The blocks, which are fully explored, have an annual peak-rated capacity of 52 million tonnes (MT). "The nominated authority is initiating the second attempt of auction of these coal mines with the same terms and conditions as in the first annulled attempt of auction," the ministry said.

The auction of blocks for commercial mining has opened India's coal sector to private players. The first-ever auction of coal mines for commercial mining witnessed "fierce competition".

Earlier, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said 19 auctioned mines will generate total revenues of around Rs 7,000 crore per annum and create more than 69,000 jobs once they are operationalised.

In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining. Some of the large corporate groups that have bagged blocks include Adani Enterprises, Vedanta, Hindalco Industries and Jindal Power.

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