Commercial Coal Mining: 19 Auctioned Blocks To Generate Rs 7,000 Crore Annual Revenue
Smoke and flames surround a truck as it travels in a coal mine in Jharia, Jharkhand. (Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg)

Commercial Coal Mining: 19 Auctioned Blocks To Generate Rs 7,000 Crore Annual Revenue

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The auction of coal mines for commercial mining witnessed "fierce competition" and the 19 blocks that went under the hammer can generate total revenues of around Rs 7,000 crore per annum and create more than 69,000 jobs once they are operationalised, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said on Monday.

The auction of blocks for commercial mining has opened India’s coal sector to private players.

"With a combined peak-rated capacity reaching 51 MT per annum, it is expected that these 19 mines will generate a total revenue of nearly about Rs 7,000 crore," the minister said while briefing the media.

The auction of these mines witnessed fierce competition and companies have offered great premiums, he said.

"Out of 38 mines put on auction, 19 mines were successfully auctioned. The success of the auction is 50%," he said.

"I appeal to the state governments to cooperate with the bidders. The sooner these coal blocks are operationalised, the sooner the state governments will get revenue from these blocks," he added.

The minister further said except coking coal, all other coal imports should be stopped in the coming years.

Also read: Commercial Coal Mine Auction: Aurobindo Realty Wins Block In Jharkhand On Day 5

While launching the auctions, it was broadly expected that investors related to mining, power and clean coal sectors would explore opportunities. However, the bidding process also saw players from sectors like real estate, infrastructure and pharma, Joshi said.

"As a testimony to the positive sentiment shared by the industry, when we decided to remove 'end user' criteria from the bidding process, almost 65% bidders were from the 'non-end user' category," he said.

Joshi said 42 companies participated in the auction, out of which 40 were private players.

Total 76 bids were received for 23 mines, wherein 19 mines had received two or more bids and were found eligible for opening of technical bids. "This is a very good response according to me," he said.

For three mines, there were single bids.

"Keeping that as the base price, immediately we are going for the re-auction of those mines," he added.

The results of these auctions have been historic and this clearly proves that opening up the coal sector was a step in the right direction, he emphasised.

"I am happy to note that two PSUs have also participated in the bidding process and hope that in the coming time, we will continue to see more participation from the PSUs.

"It is heartening to note that one of them, i.e. APMDC has won one of the Brahmadiha block it had bid for at a premium of 41.75%, bidding against five private companies," he added.

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.

Also read: Two India Billionaires Win in Landmark Government Coal Auctions

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