The maiden auction of coal mines got under way today, with Anil Ambani-led Reliance Cement bagging the first mine through e-bidding for Rs 798 crore.
Reliance Cement beat Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) and OCL Iron & Steel to bag the Sial Ghoghri coal mine in Chhidwara district of Madhya Pradesh, a top official said.
The mine has total reserves of 29.38 million tonnes and a extractable reserves of 5.69 million tonnes.
The company 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.
The auction for another coal mine (Talabira 1) in Odisha for the power sector was continuing at 1700 hrs.
After the Supreme Court allocation of 204 mines in September, the government decided to auction the blocks. It is putting up 19 blocks on sale in the first tranche.
Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters that money which the government will get from the auction will be utilised for the development of the states, specially eastern states.
After clearing the technical bidding stage, entities from Reliance, Adani, Essar, GMR, Vedanta and Aditya Birla groups became eligible to bid or two blocks — one in Odisha and the other one in Madhya Pradesh.
Coal Secretary Anil Swarup termed today’s bidding as aggressive and said that “it is good for the government (states) as it would fetch good revenue”.
The five bidders which are technically qualified for the Talabira mine are Adani Power, Essar Power M P Ltd, GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd, OPG Power Generation Pvt Ltd and Sesa Sterlite Ltd.
Around 134 bidders have cleared the initial stage of eligibility for participating in the coal mine auction.
Tomorrow, coal blocks in Belgaon (Maharashtra), Kathautia (Jharkhand) and Sarisatolli (West Bengal) would be put under the hammer.
Among these, Belgaon and Kathautia mines have been marked for non-power sector.
Belgaon block has mineable reserves of 14.18 million tonnes while Kathautia has reserves of 26.011 million tonnes.
Sarisatolli coal mine, which has been marked for the power sector, has mineable reserves of 63 MT.
The five technically qualified bidders for Sarisatolli mine are Adani Power, CESC Ltd, GMR Chhattisgarh Energy Ltd, Haldia Energy Ltd and Sheesham Commercial Pvt Ltd.
Four bidders — Bharat Aluminium Co Ltd, Reliance Cement Company Pvt. Ltd, Sunflag Iron & Steel Co Ltd and Topworth Urja & Metals Ltd — have cleared the technical round for Belgaon block.
For Kathutia mine, six technically qualified bidders includes Hindalco Industries, Monnet Ispat & Energy Ltd, Rungta Mines and Ultratech Cement.
The government has put on offer 19 coal mines in the first tranche. The bidding for the first lot of mines will continue till February 22.