The Centre will meet prospective bidders on Monday for 67 mines offered for sale in the second tranche of the commercial coal mining auction, industry sources said.
This is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche after the commencement of the auction regime in 2014.
”The government has called for a pre-bid interaction on April 26 after it postponed the April 15 meeting. SBI Caps will give a presentation on the tender process while Central Mine Planning and Design Institute (CMPDI) and the nominated authority will also be present there.
”As the country is grappling with a raging second wave of COVID-19 cases, a final call on the number of coal blocks that may go under the hammer may be taken during the meeting ,” the sources told PTI.
Nineteen mines were auctioned in the first-ever tranche of commercial coal mining auction held last year with the premium quoted by the successful bidders in the range of 9.5-66.75 per cent.
The agreements between the Ministry of Coal and the successful bidders were signed in January this year.
Of the 67 mines offered by the 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 spread across six states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
The coal ministry had said the government was moving towards adopting a ”rolling auction” mechanism.
Coal is the first mineral resource, where this mechanism is being implemented in which a pool of blocks will always remain available for auctions.
The government expects that commercial coal mining will bring in new investments, create huge employment opportunities and boost socio-economic development in coal- bearing states, and a market-based coal economy will help the nation become Aatmanirbhar in the availability of the resource.