The fourth round of coal mines auction is likely to get off the ground this month as the government is considering bringing 8—10 mines under the hammer.

Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal had earlier said the process and formalities of the fourth round of auctions are at the last stage.

“The fourth phase of coal mines auction will start very soon. It (the auction of blocks) is likely this month,” a source privy to the development said.

In the fourth phase, the government is planning to auction 8—10 blocks for the unregulated non—power sectors, including cement, steel and aluminium, the source said.

The first three rounds as well as allotment of mines had fetched states over Rs 3 lakh crore.

In the third round held in August, the government had to be content with proceeds of just Rs 4,364 crore as legal and other issues forced it to put only three out of the proposed 10 mines on the block.

The Supreme Court in September last year had cancelled allocation of 204 coal mines to companies without auction.