Home / Companies / News /  Adani Enterprises, Hindalco among others participate in India's first commercial coal block auction

New Delhi: Adani Enterprises Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd. JMS Mining Pvt. Ltd., Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd, EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd, Vedanta Ltd and Jindal Power Ltd are among 42 companies that have bid for 23 coal mines put on auction for commercial mining, according to a government official.

While a total of 38 coal mines were put for auction, 76 bids were received for 23 coal mines. The auction was launched by the coal ministry on 18 June, with the technical bids opened on Wednesday.

“Technical Bids comprising of online and offline bid documents as a part of the auction process of 38 coal mines, were opened today i.e. September 30, 2020, 10:00am onwards in New Delhi, in the presence of the bidders. Bidders were provided with the option of joining the meeting in-person or virtually. The auction process of 38 coal mines for sale of coal was launched by Ministry of Coal on June 18, 2020. The last date of submission of technical bid was 2:00 pm on September 29, 2020," coal ministry said in a statement.

While Adani Enterprises has bid for seven blocks, Hindalco and JMS Mining have bid for five blocks each, with Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd, Aurobindo Reality and Infrastructure and EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources bidding for four blocks each. Vedanta Ltd and Jindal Power Ltd bids for three and two blocks respectively.

This auction process follows after the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs’ (CCEA) earlier decided to award coal and lignite blocks on revenue sharing basis. There will be no restriction on the sale and utilisation of coal from these mines. Earlier, blocks were awarded on a fixed payment per tonne basis which the government believed was impeding production.

India’ push to raise production of natural resources to revive economic growth comes at a time when the window for fossil fuels is closing and the global energy landscape is evolving. There have been fundamental changes in investment culture for the energy sector amid growing climate concerns.

The maximum number of eight bids each were received for Gare Palma IV/7 block in Chattisgarh and Gotitoria (East) & Gotitoria (West) in Madhya Pradesh respectively.

The bids will now be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary Technical Evaluation Committee and the qualified bidders will be called to participate in the electronic auction conducted on MSTC portal from 19 October.

“This auction process marks the opening of Indian coal sector for commercial mining and will enable the country to achieve self-sufficiency in meeting its energy needs and provide thrust to economic development and employment generation," coal, mines and Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi had said at the launch.

Despite having the world’s fourth largest coal reserves, India imports around 235 mt of coal, of which around 135 mt valued at Rs1,71,000 crore could have been met from domestic supply.

The National Democratic Alliance government has been trying to raise India's coal output. In 2018, it had allowed commercial mining by private entities. In an attempt to attract investments in coal mining, the government had approved the promulgation of Mineral Laws (Amendment) Ordinance 2020. It allowed coal mining by any company present in sectors other than steel and power, and did away with the captive end-use criteria.

The new strategy was articulated by India’s finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman while announcing that India will further open up commercial coal mining with revenue share arrangement to boost domestic production. Also, there will be no distinction between captive and non-captive mines that will allow transfer of mining leases. The announcement was part of the fourth tranche of the Rs21 trillion stimulus package to mitigate the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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