Centre to initiate auction of 17 mines surrendered by PSUs

The government had decided to take away the mines which did not get into operation even after five to six years of allotment to the PSUs

Subhash Narayan
Updated23 Aug 2022, 04:44 PM IST
The auction of surrendered mines assumes importance as it would aid government’s efforts to ramp up coal production and improve availability of fuel to run power plants. (Photo: Mint)
The auction of surrendered mines assumes importance as it would aid government’s efforts to ramp up coal production and improve availability of fuel to run power plants. (Photo: Mint)

New Delhi: Coal and mines minister Pralhad Joshi on Tuesday said the government will soon begin auction process of all 17 mines which have been surrendered by public sector undertakings.

PSUs on Sunday surrendered allocation of 17 mines that have remained undeveloped even after several years of allotment.

The auction of surrendered mines assumes importance as it would aid government’s efforts to ramp up coal production and improve availability of fuel to run power plants. Fuel shortage earlier this year triggered a power crisis in the country that pushed the Centre to make coal imports and blending mandatory for power producers.

“I have got 17 good blocks surrendered by PSUs just a couple of days back and all of those will be put under the auction route now,” Joshi said on Tuesday while speaking during a conference on Indian Minerals and Metals Industry organized by NMDC and Ficci.

The minister said many PSUs in the country in sectors like coal were sitting on big mines and the government decided to take away all those mines which did not get into operation even after five to six years of allotment and put them on sale.

Joshi also said that his ministry was in deliberations with the ministry of Environment and Forest on how the exploration of mines can happen without cutting down trees. A proposal in this regard has also been included in the bill to amendment in MMDR Act 1957.

In 2021-22, the total revenue accrued from auctioned mines is more than 25,170 crore.

 To be future-ready, the mines ministry, Joshi said, is also exploring sources of minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel, rare-earth elements, lead, zinc and others.

“With this view, I visited Australia last month to secure critical minerals that will help the country transition to clean sources of energy,” he added.

The minister also indicated that apart from coal mines, other mineral blocks, that remained unexploited by PSUs may also be considered for auction to improve mineral production in the country.

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First Published:23 Aug 2022, 04:44 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaCentre to initiate auction of 17 mines surrendered by PSUs

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