New Delhi: The auction of coal mines for commercial mining witnessed ‘fierce competition’. The 19 blocks that went under the hammer can generate total revenues of around Rs 7,000 crore per annum and create more than 69,000 jobs once they are operationalised, Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said Monday. The auction of blocks for commercial mining has opened the coal sector to the private players. “With a combined peak-rated capacity reaching 51 million tonne per annum, it is expected that these 19 mines will generate a total revenue of nearly about Rs 7,000 crore,” Pralhad Joshi said while briefing the media here.
The auction of these mines witnessed fierce competition and companies have offered great premiums, Joshi pointed out. “Out of 38 mines put on auction, 19 mines were successfully auctioned. The success of the auction is 50 per cent,” he said.
“I appeal to the state governments to cooperate with the bidders. The sooner these coal blocks are operationalised, the sooner the state governments will get revenue from these blocks,” Joshi added.
The minister further said except coking coal, all other coal imports should be stopped in the coming years.
While launching the auctions, it was broadly expected that investors related to mining, power and clean coal sectors would explore opportunities. However, the bidding process also saw players from sectors like real estate, infrastructure and pharma, Joshi informed.
“As a testimony to the positive sentiment shared by the industry, when we decided to remove ‘end user’ criteria from the bidding process, almost 65 per cent bidders were from the ‘non-end user’ category,” he stated.
Joshi said 42 companies participated in the auction, out of which 40 were private players. Total 76 bids were received for 23 mines, wherein 19 mines had received two or more bids and were found eligible for opening of technical bids. “This is a very good response according to me,” the minister stated.
For three mines, there were single bids. “Keeping that as the base price, immediately we are going for the re-auction of those mines,” informed Joshi.
In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining. Some of the corporate biggies that have bagged blocks include Adani Enterprises, Vedanta, Hindalco Industries and Jindal Power.