The first day of the third tranche of coal block auction witnessed reasonably aggressive bidding for two mines — Marki Mangli I and Bhaskarpara — among companies in the unregulated sector like steel and cement. Both the mines were won by Topworth Group of Companies, an iron and steel manufacturer.
Marki Mangli I coal block, located in Maharashtra, was bagged by Topworth Urja & Metals at Rs 715/tonne in forward bidding. This will accrue an estimated revenue of Rs 700 crore for Maharastra over 30 years. This block, which is an operational block and comes under schedule II, was originally part of first tranche of auction but it remained unsold then due to lack of interest among companies.
Bhaskarpara, the second block to go under the hammer on Tuesday, was grabbed by Crest Steel and Power, a subsidiary of Topworth Group of Companies, at R755/tonne. This block is estimated to fetch nearly Rs 1,800 crore to Chhattisgarh over 30 years. Jindal Steel and Power and Godawari Natural Resources were among the technically qualified bidders for the mine.
The government had selected 10 coal blocks to be auctioned in the third tranche but four of these blocks have now been taken out as they couldn’t attract the requisite number of bidders in the first stage. As per bidding norms, a coal mine under auction must have at least three technically qualified bidders to enter the second round of bidding.
Another Schedule III block Jamkhani, located in Odisha, was kept out of the auction process owing to pending matter in the Delhi High Court. This leaves only five coal blocks for bidding in the current round.
Chitarpur mine in Jharkhand will be put on the block on Wednesday while Parbatpur Central mine in Jharkhand and Majra in Maharashtra will be available for auction on Thursday.
Last week, 22 applications, including from Hindalco, Vedanta, JSW Steel and SAIL, had cleared the initial stage.