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Coal Auction: Government Garners Rs 2,529 Cr on Day 1

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Coal Auction: Government Garners Rs 2,529 Cr on Day 1
New Delhi: The first day of third tranche of coal mine auctions on Tuesday saw the government garnering a total of Rs 2,529 crore from bidding of two blocks in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

Crest Steel and Power Pvt Ltd, a Topworth Group entity, emerged as the highest bidder for Bhaskarpara mine in Chhattisgarh which will fetch the government Rs 1,817 crore.

Companies like JSPL were there in the race for the mine. The group's arm Topworth Urja & Metals Ltd emerged as the highest bidder for Marki Mangli-I mine in Maharashtra earlier in the day.

"Crest Steel and Power highest bidder for Bhaskarpara coal block at (Rs) 755 (a tonne), " Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a tweet.

Marki Mangli-I mine will fetch the government Rs 712 crore.

Bhaskarpara mine was earlier jointly allotted to Electrotherm (India) Ltd and Grasim Industries Ltd.

The extractable reserves of the Bhaskarpara coal block are 24.06 million tonnes (MT).

The amount of proceeds has been calculated based on extractable reserves and the highest bid price.

The companies vying for Bhaskarpara Coal Mine included Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Godawari Natural Resources Ltd.

"Topworth Urja and Metal highest bidder at (Rs) 715 (per tonne) for Marki Mangli 1 coal block," Mr Swarup said in a tweet.

Grace Industries Ltd and Lloyds Metals and Energy Ltd were in the race for Marki Mangli 1 mine.

The extractable reserves of Marki Mangli-I mine are 9.96 MT.

Topworth Urja & Metals has three power plants located within its steel plants having a combined generation capacity of 62 MW. It is also setting up a 140 MW power plants for its captive purpose, according to its website.

Marki Mangli-I mine was earlier allocated to B S Ispat Ltd.

Chitarpur mine in Jharkhand will be on the block on Wednesday while Parbatpur Central mine in Jharkhand and Majra in Maharashtra will be put for auction on Thursday.

The schedule for the auction of Jamkhani coal mine in Odisha will be announced at a later date due to a court case, an official said.

The government had garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore from auction of mines earlier this year.

Marki Mangli-I mine and Bhaskarpara mine were put for e-auction by the Ministry of Coal on the auction portal managed by MSTC - mstcecommerce.com.

The companies that are in the race for Chitarpur mine on Wednesday are Hindalco, JSPL and Vedanta.

The third phase of auction is only for the unregulated sector - iron, steel and cement.

Last week, 22 applications from companies, including Hindalco, Vedanta, JSW Steel and SAIL, had cleared the initial stage for auction.

The government has put on block five mines for auction while in one case it has kept the bidding in abeyance due to a court case.

"Pursuant to the Delhi High Court case, the schedule for e-auction of Jamkhani coal mine shall be announced at a later date," the Coal Ministry said.

The government had earlier said it will auction 10 coal mines for steel, cement as well as captive power plants.

It has so far auctioned 29 coal blocks in two tranches to private companies and garnered over Rs 2 lakh crore, surpassing the Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) loss estimate of Rs 1.86 lakh crore in allotment of mines earlier without auction.

The Coal Secretary had earlier said 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.

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