New Delhi: After the successful auction of 64 coal mines in the first five tranches, the Coal Ministry has started the process of auctioning 133 coal mines under the 6th round of commercial auctions, of which 71 coal mines are new coal mines and 62 coal mines are rollovers from the earlier tranche of commercial auctions held in November 2022. Furthermore, eight coal mines were started as part of the 2nd attempt of the 5th round of commercial auctions, where individual bids were accepted at the first attempt.
There are no technical or financial eligibility criteria in commercial auctions, and as a result, several non-coal bidders have become successful bidders and acquired coal mines. The Ministry of Coal is holding an Investors’ Conclave on December 1, 2022 in Mumbai to encourage participation of bidders in the commercial auction of coal mines. Union Minister for Coal, Mines and Parliamentary Affairs, Shri Pralhad Joshi will preside and Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Eknath Shinde will be the Chief Guest. Deputy Chief Minister Shri Devendra Fadnavis will be the special guest and Minister of State for Coal, Mines and Railways, Shri Raosaheb Patil Danve and Minister of Mines for Maharashtra Shri Dadaji Bhuse will be the guest of honor for the function. Shri Amrit Lal Meena, Secretary, Ministry of Coal and Shri Vivek Bhardwaj, Secretary, Ministry of Mines will also attend the conclave.
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The list of mines was finalized after detailed discussion. Mines falling under protected areas, nature reserves, critical habitats, forest cover greater than 40%, heavily built-up areas, etc. were excluded. The block boundaries of some coal mines where there were dense dwellings, high green cover or critical infrastructure etc. were modified based on the comments received during stakeholder consultations to increase the interest and participation of bidders in these coal blocks.
Key features of the auction process include a reduction in the upfront amount and the amount of the bid security, permission to give up part of the coal mine in case of partially explored coal mines, introduction of the National Coal Index and the National Lignite Index, easy participation with no barriers to entry, full flexibility in coal utilization, optimized payment structures, promoting efficiency through incentives for early mining and the use of clean coal technology.
The sale of tender documents was launched on November 3, 2022. Details of the mines, auction conditions, schedules, etc. are available on the MSTC auction platform. The auction will be held online through a transparent 2-phase process based on a percentage of revenue.
SBI Capital Markets Limited, the sole transaction adviser to the Ministry of Coal for the commercial auctions of coal mines, is assisting the Ministry of Coal in conducting the auction.