8 coal mines to be auctioned after 10 in Round 3: Coal secretary

New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) The government will put eight more coal mines up for auction after completing the process for 10 mines in the third phase in mid-August, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said on Wednesday.

“After these 10 mines (in August), eight more mines are in the queue,” he told reporters here on the sidelines of a conference on minerals and metals organised by a business chamber.

“We have more and more mines coming in so that they would suffice for other sectors also,” he said.

Swarup also said that in view of the need to step up India’s coal production to 1.5 billion tonnes by 2020, there is a plan to hire manpower for mining.

“As far as 1.5 billion tonnes of production is concerned we have a full-fledged HR plan of having manpower to mine these mines,” he said.

The third round of coal mine auctions for 10 blocks will be held from August 11 to 17.

Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal said last month that the government will open more than 60 coal mines across the country in the coming days.

He had said the new mines were part of the overall plan for state miner Coal India to double its current production of 500 million tonnes per annum in five years to reach the country’s total production target of 1,500 million tonnes by 2020.

Coal India achieved a record 32 million tonnes increase in production in the last year, which led to a 12 percent increase in power production, the minister said.

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