By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, March 26, 2021: The Centre on Thursday released its second tranche of auction for commercial coal mining offering 67 mines which include 14 blocks from Odisha for sale.

In the first tranche, 19 mines were successfully auctioned last year with the premium quoted by the successful bidders ranging from 9.5 per cent to 66.75 per cent. The agreements between the Ministry of Coal and the successful bidders were signed in January this year. States will fetch around Rs 7,000 crore of revenue from these auctions considering production at peak rated capacity of 51 MTPA.

Incidentally, this is the highest number of mines on offer in a particular tranche of auction after commencement of the auction regime since 2014.

The 14 coal blocks of the State that will go under the hammer are Mahanadi, Machhakata, Nuagaon Telisahi, Ramchandi Promotion block, Alaknanda, Bartap, Burapahar, Dip Extn of Belpahar, Dip Side of Chatabar, Kardabahal-Brahmanbil, Kosala West, Phuljhari East & West, Saradhapur North and Tentuloi.

Mahanadi and Machhakata coal blocks in Angul district having a reserve of about 3,394 million tonnes were allocated to some of the PSUs of Maharashtra and Gujarat in 2007 while the Nuagaon Telisahi block was allocated to Odisha Mining Corporation and Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation.

These coal blocks were part of the 204 blocks which were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September 2014 due to irregularities in the allocation process. Launching the auction process in New Delhi, Union Coal Minister Pralhad Joshi said 23 mines will be auctioned under Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015 and 44 under Mines and Mineral (Development and Regulations) Act.

The Coal Minister said looking at the past success, the government is moving towards adopting a ‘Rolling Auction’ mechanism for conducting future auctions. Coal is the first mineral resource where rolling auction mechanism is being implemented in which a pool of coal blocks will always remain available for auctions.

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