It said that the Ninth round of commercial auctions was launched by the Ministry of Coal on December 20, 2023, for 32 coal mines.
Since the first auction of commercial mining in 2020, a total of 91 coal mines have been successfully auctioned during a short period of three years in seven tranches under the commercial coal mining, the coal ministry said on Friday. Out of these 91 coal mines, nine mines have received all the permissions and five coal mines have started production, it added.
The ministry also revealed that the coal production during FY23 from commercial mines was 7.2 million tonnes.
According to the methodology for commercial coal mines’ auctions, in case of less than two technically qualified bidders for a mine, the first attempt of auction for that mine shall be annulled and the second attempt of auction may be initiated with the approval of the “competent authority”.
In case of only one bidder again in the second attempt, the matter will be referred to the empowered committee of secretaries (ECoS) to take an appropriate decision with respect to the allocation of the mine.
The ministry stated that till date, 11 coal mines have been allocated to different bidders with the approval of ECoS based on single bid after the second attempt of auction, based on transparency in auction, reasonability of offer and number of rounds the mines have been offered. It may be noted that a large number of mines listed for auction received no bid despite repeated offers during the last seven rounds.