Coal auctions: 9 mines up in round 4 for non-regulated sector

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The coal ministry said on Thursday it has added another coal block to the list of mines in auctions next month, taking the total number in the fourth round to nine.

The Bhaskarpara mine in Chhattisgarh, earmarked for the non-regulated sector for captive power for manufacture of items like steel and cement, has been added to the list of coal mines in the next round of auctions slated for January 18-22 next year, the ministry said.

Besides Bhaskarpara, other Schedule III coal mines earmarked for non-regulated sectors to be auctioned in the fourth round are Brahmapuri and Suliyari in Madhya Pradesh, Bundu and Gondulpura in Jharkhand, Gondkhari and Khappa in Maharashtra, and Jaganathpur A and Jaganathpur B in West Bengal. These hold a total 1,143.42 million tonnes (MT) of coal reserves

The Brahampuri and the partially-explored Suliyari blocks in Madhya Pradesh have reserves of 102.49 MT and 142 MT, respectively, while the Gondkhari and Khappa in Maharashtra have reserves of 98.72 MT and 84.72 MT respectively.

Bundu and Gondulpara coal blocks in Jharkhand each have reserves of 102.27 MT and 176.33 MT, respectively.

The largest of the allotted mines (at 267.33 MT) is in the Jaganathpur coal block in West Bengal where two of the blocks (to go for auctions) have a joint reserve of 436.9 MT.

The Supreme Court in September last year had cancelled the allocation of 204 coal mines.

In a press conference last month, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said the due date for submission of bids for the fourth round is December 31, and the ministry is hopeful of giving vesting order to the winners by March 2016.

The results of the bidding will be declared by March 10 next year.

The secretary said currently operational mines are producing around 5 million tonne of coal and 29 more would start production by the next year.

Through the earlier three rounds of auctions, the government has awarded 45 coal mines to both the power and unregulated sectors yielding revenue of Rs.350,000 crore for a period of 30 years for the coal bearing states.

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