The Coal Ministry will launch the 8th round of commercial coal auctions on Wednesday offering a total of 39 blocks.

In the upcoming round, a total of 35 coal mines will be offered, comprising of 11 under the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, and 24 under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.

Among these, 14 coal mines are fully explored, while 21 are partially explored. Additionally, 4 coal mines are being offered under the second Attempt of round seven of commercial coal including one CMSP coal mine and three MMDR coal mines. Of these, one is fully explored, and three are partially explored.

The sector opened for commercial coal mining in 2020, with the first-ever auctions being launched by the Prime Minister on June 18, 2020.

Since then, the Ministry has conducted seven rounds of commercial coal mining auctions, and 91 mines have been auctioned, with peak rated capacity (PRC) of 221 Million Tonnes per annum (MTPA), it added.

To attract more interest, the Ministry has been introducing various initiatives. 

The mine boundaries have been considered after detailed deliberations to remove the bottlenecks and make the mines more attractive for prospective bidders. Further, the Ministry will also provide ‘Drone Pictography’ of each mine as a part of the mine dossier for the benefit of bidders.

In the commercial coal mine auctions, there has been no restriction on the sale and/or utilisation of coal. Further, the eligibility criteria has been done away with and there is no technical or financial eligibility criteria for participating in the coal mine auctions.

The Coal Ministry has developed a portal ‘Single Window Clearance System’ to facilitate the grant of clearances and approvals to the Successful Bidders. Also, the Project Monitoring Unit (PMU) has been appointed to hand hold bidders in getting various clearances.