67 mines on offer in second tranche of commercial coal mining auction

The government on Thursday offered 67 coal mines for sale, launching the second tranche of commercial coal mining auction and termed it a step towards Atmanirbhar Bharat. This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche after commencement of the auction regime in 2014.

Out of the total 67 mines offered by the Union Coal Ministry, 23 are under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act and 44 under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act. The blocks on offer are a mix of mines with small and large reserves, coking and non-coking mines and fully- and partially-explored blocks spread across six States – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said that 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 this 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 set-up. Moreover, it will also help bidders in planning better and would further enhance transparency in the system,” Mr Joshi added.

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