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Commercial mining: Vedanta, Adani, Hindalco, JSPL among 42 bidders for coal blocks

11:00 PM Sep 30, 2020 | Agencies

Vedanta, JSPL, Adani Enterprises, Hindalco Industries, JSW Steel and Nalco are among the 42 companies that have submitted the bids for 23 coal blocks that were put up for auction under commercial mining.

The government has in total put up for auction 38 coal blocks for commercial mining.

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"A total of 76 bids have been received for 23 coal mines... A total of 42 companies have submitted their bids in the auction process," the coal ministry said in a statement.

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The highest number of bids (seven) were submitted by Adani Enterprises; followed by Hindalco Industries and JMS Mining (five each); and The Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation, Aurobindo Reality and Infrastructure, and EMIL Mines and Minerals Resources (four bids each).

Vedanta Ltd submitted three bids, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) submitted two, JSW Steel and Nalco one each, among others.

Of the total 76 bids, the highest bids were made for Gotitoria (East) and Gotitoria (West) and Gare Palma IV/7 coal blocks (eight bids for each), followed by six bids each for Brahmadiha and Urma Paharitola mines.

The ministry said two or more bids have been received for 19 coal mines.

The bids will be evaluated by a multi-disciplinary Technical Evaluation Committee, and technically qualified bidders would be shortlisted for participation in the electronic auction to be conducted on MSTC portal from October 19.

As part of the auction process, technical bids comprising online and offline bid documents were opened on Wednesday in the presence of the bidders.

The bidders were provided with the option of joining the meeting in-person or virtually.

"The online bids were decrypted and opened electronically in the presence of the bidders. Subsequently, sealed envelopes containing offline bid documents were also opened in the presence of bidders. The entire process was displayed on the screen for the bidders," the ministry said.

In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining, a move that opens India's coal sector for private players, and termed it a major step in the direction of India achieving self-reliance.

The auction of coal blocks for commercial mining is expected to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment over the next five to seven years.

The launch of the auction process not only marks the beginning of unlocking of the country's coal sector from the lockdown of decades but aims at making India the largest exporter of coal, the prime minister had said.

Despite being the world's fourth-largest producer, India is the second-largest importer of the dry-fuel.

The coal ministry had later revised the list of mines to be auctioned for commercial mining to 38 blocks instead of the 41 mines announced earlier.

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