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New Delhi: The coal ministry on Tuesday said it will hold an investors’ conclave in Mumbai on 1 December to boost bidder participation in the commercial auction of coal mines.

“Under commercial auctions, there is no technical or financial eligibility criteria and hence, several bidders who were not into coal mining earlier, became successful bidders and were awarded the coal mines," the Ministry of Coal said.

The high-level meet will be chaired by coal minister Pralhad Joshi and will be attended by Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, minister of state for coal, mines and railways, Raosaheb Patil Danve and minister of mining for Maharashtra Dadaji Bhuse, coal secretary Amrit Lal Meena and mines secretary Vivek Bhardwaj.

According to the Ministry of Coal, after the successful auction of 64 coal mines in the first five tranches, Ministry of Coal had launched the process for auction of 133 coal mines under 6th round of commercial auctions of which 71 coal mines are new coal mines and 62 coal mines are rolling over from earlier tranches of commercial auctions held in November 2022.

“Additionally, eight coal mines under 2nd attempt of 5th round of commercial auctions were also launched where single bids were received in the first attempt," it said.

The list of mines has been finalized post detailed deliberations. Mines falling under protected areas, wildlife sanctuaries, critical habitats, having forest cover greater than 40%, heavily built-up area etc. have been excluded. The block boundaries of some of the coal mines where there was presence of dense habitation, high green cover or critical infrastructure etc. have been modified basis comments received during stakeholder consultations to enhance bidders’ interest and participation in these coal blocks.

“Key features of the auction process include reduction in upfront amount and bid security amount, permission to relinquish part of the coal mine in case of partially explored coal mines, introduction of National Coal Index and National Lignite Index, ease of participation with no entry barriers, full flexibility in coal utilisation, optimized payment structures, efficiency promotion through incentives for early production and use of clean coal technology," Coal ministry said.

The sale of tender document commenced on November 3. Details of the mines, auction terms, timelines etc. can be accessed on MSTC auction platform. The auction shall be held online through a transparent 2 stage process, on the basis of percentage revenue share.

SBI Capital Markets Limited, the sole transaction advisor to Ministry of Coal for the commercial coal mine auctions, is assisting in conduct of the auction.

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