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Fairmine Carbons Pvt. Ltd and Chowgule and Company Pvt. Ltd placed the winning bids for commercial mining of coal from Rajhara North (central and eastern) mine in Jharkhand and Sahapur (East) mine in Madhya Pradesh respectively on Thursday, according to a Union government official.

Thursday marked the fourth day of commercial coal mine auctions in the country that began on Monday after a decision by the cabinet committee on economic affairs in May to award coal and lignite blocks on a revenue-sharing basis.

Earlier, blocks were awarded on a fixed payment per tonne basis.

Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL), Nilkanth Coal Mining Pvt Ltd, and Saraf Trading Co. Pvt Ltd were also in fray for the Rajhara North (central and eastern) coal mine, while Aurobindo Reality and Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, JMS Mining Pvt Ltd, and Sarda Energy and Minerals Ltd were bidding for the Sahapur (East) coal mine. These mines together have a geological reserve of 83.63 million tonnes.

“The e-auction witnessed strong competition amongst the bidders with both the mines attracting good premiums over the floor price," the coal ministry said in a statement.

As part of the two-stage auction process, a bidder has to bid for the percentage revenue share over the reserve price. There will be no restriction on the sale and utilization of coal from these mines. The auctions are expected to conclude on 9 November.

While a total of 38 coal mines were initially put-on auction by the coal ministry, a total of 19 mines are being bid out under the 11th tranche of auction under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015.There have been 76 bids from 42 companies for 23 coal mines, while the remaining 15 mines did not receive any bid. The blocks are located across Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra. The bids for the mines come at a time when the global investor community is focusing on environmental, social and governance investing and the window for fossil fuels is closing. India has called for a reset on the debate of using coal as a fuel even as it transitions to a green economy.

India has auctioned a total of 15 coal mines, including Sahapur (East) and Rajhara North (central and eastern), with four more coal mines to be bid out. They are Radhikapur (East) in Odisha, Urma Paharitola in Jharkhand, Gondulpara in Jharkhand, and Gare Palma IV/7 in Chhattisgarh. The winning bids for the auctioned mines have been received from companies such as AEL, Jindal Power Ltd, Vedanta Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd, JMS Mining Pvt. Ltd, Aurobindo Realty and Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corp. Ltd, and EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources Ltd.

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