Fourth round of commercial coal mining launched with 99 blocks on offer

The government on Thursday launched the fourth round of auction of coal mines for commercial mining, under which 99 blocks had 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 would be a total of 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 had 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. Mr Joshi further pointed out that at least for next 30 to 40 years coal would 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 finalised after 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. 

Report By