The maiden auction of coal mines got underway on Saturday, with GMR and Reliance Cement bagging one mine each for an estimated Rs 1,375 crore and Rs 798 crore respectively.
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 government had put for sale 204 coal mine blocks, following Supreme Court decision to allocate of 204 mines in September. Reliance Cement, Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) and OCL Iron & Steel were top contenders. The mine has total reserves of 29.38 million tonnes and a extractable reserves of 5.69 million tonnes.
Reliance Cement bid Rs 1,402 per tonne to get the mine. The block was alloted to Prism Cement earlier. The mine is earmarked for the non-power sector. Coal and power minister Piyush Goyal told reporters that money will go to Madhya Pradesh Government.
Government in the first tranche has put 19 blocks on sale. Coal secretary Anil Swarup told HT it is positive and aggressive bidding. “It is good for the States as it would fetch them good revenue".
"GMR Chhattisgarh Energy won the Talabira-1 coal block in Odisha," Swarup said.
GMR pipped Adani Power, Essar Power, Sesa Sterlite and others by bidding at Rs 478 per tonne to get the mine, he added.
The Odisha mine, earmarked for the power sector, has extractable reserves of 28.77 million tonnes.
(with agency inputs)