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Govt begins second round of coal mine auctions

Government on Wednesday began the second round of coal mine auctions by putting on offer four blocks – all in Jharkhand – with firms including Adani Power , JSW Steel , SAIL  and BALCO in the race.

The mines on offer are Jitpur, Moitra, Brinda and Sasai.

“Second phase of coal auction commences. Jitpur opened at (Rs) 120 (per tonne)… Moitra and Brinda & Sasai at Rs 1,004 (per tonne) Rs 1,802 (per tonne) respectively,” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said.

The companies vying for Jitpur mine – earmarked for the power sector – are Adani Power, Adhunik Power and Natural Resources, Jaiprakash Power Ventures  and Jindal Power. The mine was earlier allocated to Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL).

For Moitra mine – earmarked for the non-power sector – the companies in the race are Jayaswal Neco Industries Ltd , JSW Steel  and SAIL. It was earlier alloted to Jayaswal Neco.

With regard to Brinda and Sasai coal blocks (government came out with one bid for both the mines), the companies found to be technically qualified are BALCO, Easternrange Coal Mining Pvt Ltd, Sesa Sterlite  and Usha Martin . The two blocks were earlier alloted to Abhijeet Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.

The last day for auction of the mines in this second tranche is March 9. The government has put at least 15 coal blocks in this round of auction as per the tentative list.

Over 80 applications have been found to be technically qualified for the ready-to-produce mines being put on auction.

Other mines on auction in the second lot include Mandakini in Odisha; Meral in Jharkhand; Tara in Chhattisgarh; Nerad Malegaon in Maharashtara; Dumri in Jharkhand; Ganeshpur in Jharkhand; Mandla South in Madhya Pradesh; Gare-Palma Sector-IV/8 in Chhattisgarh; Utkal C in Odisha; Lohari in Jharkhand and Jamkhani in Odisha.

The government which was to begin the auction of second lot of mines last month had to put it off to March 4 because of litigation issues.

From auctioned 19 mines in the first lot, it came out with the list of successful bidders for just 15 mines.

The rest four mines are being re-examined by the Nominated Authority as there were some issues including pricing of the bids.

The e-auction proceeds from the first lot of mines are over Rs 1 lakh crore.

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