Govt to auction 10 coal blocks under commercial mining this week

The government will auction 10 coal blocks under commercial coal mining this week over the next two days, said the Ministry of Coal
Coal blocks
Coal blocks

New Delhi: The government will auction 10 coal blocks under commercial coal mining this week, according to an official statement. The move comes in the wake of various measures taken by the government to ramp up domestic coal output. Of the blocks put on sale, eight mines will be auctioned under fifth round of commercial coal mining on Tuesday, while the remaining two blocks will be put on sale on Wednesday under the second attempt of the fourth round of commercial coal mine auction.

"E-auction for eight coal mines will be conducted on 13th September and for two coal mines on 14th September, 2022," the coal ministry said in a statement.

The mines to be put on sale are Sursa, Dahegaon/Makardhokra-IV, Basantpur, Bandha North, MarkiMangli-IV, Jitpur, Rampia and dip side of Rampia, and Ghogharpalli and its dip extension.

"Ministry of Coal had invited bids for coal mines for commercial coal mining. Technical evaluation of bids has been completed and forward e-auction for 10 coal mines will be launched tomorrow," the statement said.

Total Peak Rate Capacity (PRC) of these 10 mines being put up for e-auction is 39.31 million tonnes per annum.

The government has so far auctioned 43 coal mines with a peak rated capacity of 85.54 million tonnes per annum.

Coal minister Pralhad Joshi had last month said that more than 107 coal mines will be put up for sale in the near future.

The coal ministry has set a production target of 900 million tonnes for the current fiscal, which includes 700 million tonnes from state-owned CIL.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in 2020 launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining, a move that opened India's coal sector for private players.

The launch of the auction process not only marks the beginning of unlocking of the country's coal sector from the lockdown of decades, but aims at making India the largest exporter of coal, the prime minister had said.

At present, despite being the world's fourth largest producer, India is the second largest importer of the dry fuel.

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