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Commercial coal block sale may get Cabinet nod this month

A proposal to auction coal blocks for commercial mining is expected to get Cabinet approval this month, coal secretary Susheel Kumar said. The government intends to complete the auction process within this fiscal year, he said.

The secretary was talking to reporters on the sidelines of the Seventh Asian Mining Congress organised by the Mining, Geological Metallurgical Institute of India in Kolkata on Wednesday 8 November 2017..

On the number of mines to be auctioned, Kumar said a final decision on that would be made once the government cleared the modalities for the auction.

According to a draft prepared by the government, the company that offers to pay the highest amount of royalty will be declared winner.

The royalty will go to the state where the block is located and the government does not propose to quote any value for those, as has been the practice for the auction of captive coal blocks. Miners are expected to offer value for the blocks depending on their own assessment.

According to recent media reports, the government has shortlisted seven blocks with a total geological reserve of 4.25 billion tonnes.

These are Chendipada I and II, Durgapur II, Mahanadi Macchakata, MediniraiMadanpur, Shankarpur Bhatgaon II Extension and Dongri Tal II A power sector executive said Durgapur II in Chattishgarh’s Mand Raigarh district was offered under auction for captive mining, but it did not find any takers.

This block, with a total estimated geological reserve of 303 million tonnes, was allotted to Bharat Aluminium before it was de-allocated by the Supreme Court. Dongri Tal II in Madhya Pradesh’s Singrauli district holds a reserve of 158 million tonnes. It also did not find any takers when offered earlier.

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