Govt collects Rs2,529 cr from 2 coal mines in Round-III auctions on Day 1

The government has collected a total of Rs2,529 crore on the first day of the third round of coal mines' auctions on Tuesday from bidding of two blocks in Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra.

Crest Steel and Power Pvt Ltd, a Topworth Group entity, bid Rs1,817 crore for Bhaskarpara mine in Chhattisgarh to emerge as the highest bidder for the mine. Besides Crest Steel companies like JSPL were also in the race for the mine.

"Crest Steel and Power was the highest bidder for Bhaskarpara coal block at Rs 755 (a tonne)," coal secretary Anil Swarup said.

Crest Steel and Power's closing bid of Rs755 a tonne for the Bhaskarpara mine in Chhattisgarh is 47 per cent higher than the floor price of 513 a tonne.

Located in Surguja district, Bhaskarpara has a mining lease area of about 920 hectares with extractable reserve of 24 million tonnes, most of which is available at the surface.

The block was previously owned by Bhaskarpara Coal Co, a consortium of Electrotherm and Ultratech.

Topworth Urja & Metals Ltd, an arm of Crest steel,  emerged as the highest bidder for Marki Mangli-I mine in Maharashtra, bidding Rs712 crore for the mine.

The bid amount for the Marki Mangli-I mine was 40 per cent above the floor price of Rs505 a tonne. At that price, the mine, located in Yavatmal district would fetch the Maharashtra government Rs712 crore during the life of the mine.

Spread over 6,400 hectares, Marki Mangli-I has mine-able reserves of 20.64 million tonnes, of which 16.93 mt is underground requiring higher mining costs compared with surface mines.

It may be noted that the government had to cancel the round II auction for Mangli-III mine located nearby as the top bid of Rs918 a tonne by BS Ispat for the mine was only 2 per cent above the floor of Rs900 a tonne.

BS Ispat was also the previous owner of Marki Mangli-1, allocation of which was also among the 218 coal mine concessions cancelled by the Supreme Court.

By Thursday, the government expects to complete auctioning of about 11 coal mines, which could not be sold in the first two phases of the recent coal block auctions.

Coal ministry has accorded initial clearance to a total of 22 applications from large players like Hindalco, Vedanta, JSW and SAIL.