Major business houses continued to bid aggressively on day three of coal auction with the government assuring that coal-rich states will get a minimum of Rs 12,000 crore per annum from the lease of mines.
“Certainly one must appreciate that these (mines on offer) are producing mines. So there will be more aggressive bids for these mines as we move towards mines which are not very easy to operate or which are in more remote areas,” said coal, power and new & renewable energy minister Piyush Goyal.
On Monday, BS Ispat bagged Marki Mangli III mine in Maharashtra for Rs 918 per tonne. Sunflag Iron and Steel and CESE won two coal blocks – one in Maharashtra and the other in West Bengal – that were on offer on Sunday.
Anil Ambani-led Reliance Cement bagged Sial Ghoghri coal mine in Chhidwara district of Madhya Pradesh, the first mine to be allocated through e-bidding, for Rs 798 crore.
The high prices are a reflection of the ‘need’ for coal by the companies to operate their steel, power and cement establishments.
“Till date, coal blocks worth Rs 11, 839 crore have been auctioned. This translates into Rs 6, 853 crore annual income for states like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh,” said coal secretary Anil Swarup.
The government has put up for sale 204 coal mine blocks, following a Supreme Court decision in September.
The Talabira 1 in Odisha went to GMR for Rs 478 per tonne.
The bidding process for two other mines on offer on Monday — Mandla North in Madhya Pradesh and Trans Damodar in West Bengal — were continuing at the time of the paper going to print.
Swarup said the government was auctioning 19 mines in the first lot. The auction which began last week will go on till February 22.