The government on Thursday launched the fourth round of auction of coal mines for commercial mining under which 99 blocks have been put on sale. With coal mines rolling over from third round of commercial auction and second attempt of second tranche of commercial auctions, there will be total 99 mines on offer, the coal ministry said in a statement.
"Union Minister of Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi has launched the fourth tranche of auction of 99 coal mines, including 24 new mines in a function here today," the statement said.
Launching the latest tranche, the minister called upon the investors who have already completed successful bidding of coal mines to start production at the earliest for greater self-reliance in this sector. The minister also urged the officials to identify more coal blocks for auctioning.
Joshi further pointed out that at least for next 30 to 40 years coal will continue to be crucial in India's energy sector. He urged investors to step up participation in the fully transparent auction process evolved by the ministry.
Of these 99 mines on offer, 59 are fully explored mines and 40 are partially explored. These mines are spread across eight coal bearing states namely Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The list of mines has been finalized post detailed deliberations, and mines falling under protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, critical habitats, having forest cover greater than 40 per cent, heavily built-up area etc. have been excluded.
Key features of the auction process include introduction of National Coal Index, ease in participation with no restriction for prior coal mining experience, full flexibility in coal utilisation, optimised payment structures, efficiency in promotion through incentives for early production and use of clean coal technology.
Further incentives are being contemplated by the ministry with focus on sustainability. The commencement of sale of tender document will start from Thursday. Details of the mines, auction terms, timelines etc. can be accessed on MSTC auction platform.
The auction shall be held online through a transparent two-stage process, on the basis of Percentage Revenue Share. This will be the 14th round of auction under CMSP Act and fourth tranche of auction under MMDR Act.
SBI Capital Markets Ltd, sole transaction advisor to Ministry of Coal for the commercial coal mine auction, had devised the methodology and is assisting the ministry in conducting the auction.
Of the total 99 coal mines, 35 are under 14th tranche of auction under CMSP Act and 64 are under fourth tranche of auction under MMDR Act. Besides, of these 99 mines, 24 are new coal mines whereas the remaining 75 are rollover mines from the earlier round of auctions.
After successful auction of 28 coal mines in the first two tranches and upon receipt of 53 bids for 20 coal mines under tranche 13 of CMSP Act and tranche 3 of MMDR Act, the ministry has now launched the auction process of 24 new mines. Of these 24 mines, 9 are under tranche 14 of CMSP Act and 15 under tranche 4 of MMDR Act.