Central Government to auction 10 coal mines
The Central government has decided to offer 10 mines for auction in order to open up India’s commercial mining market for coal. The government had earlier announced that the coal mining sector would be opened for commercial mining in 2017-18.
In the first phase, four coal mines from Odisha will be put up for auction- Chendipada, Chendipada-II, Mahanadi and Machhakata. From Chhattisgarh, Shankarpur Bhatgaon II Extension, Durgapur II/Taraimar, Durgapur II/Sariya, Madanpur (North) will be put up for auction. Along with these eight mines, Madhya Pradesh’s Dongri Tal-II and Jharkhand’s Mednirai was up for auction.
It is estimated that coal mines such as Chendipada and Machhakata have fairly high extractable reserves of 1244.37 million tonnes (MT) and 474.34 MT respectively, whereas Shankarpur Bhatgaon II Extension and Mednirai have extractable reserves of 80.14 MT and 80.832 MT respectively.
Following the Supreme Court’s order to de-allocate 214 coal mines in September 24 2014, coal Ministry had begun preparing some of them for auction in the beginning of 2015. According to the apex court’s order, by March 2015, companies would have to return coal blocks. After the Coal Mines (Special Provision) Act was passed in 2015, the order gave the government auction mines to private entities for commercial sale and mining.