Aditya Birla Group, Vedanta, Jindal Steel and Power and Adani Power are among the firms to have bid for 23 mines offered for e-auction in the first phase.
The government received 176 bids for the mines under Schedule II category (under production) in the technical bids process to be followed by financial bids for qualifying bidders next week.
According to information available after the closure of technical bids, Vedanta Group firms Bharat Aluminium Company and Sesa Sterlite have put in 23 bids, Aditya Birla Group firms Hindalco Industries, Ultra Tech Cement have put in 15 bids for eight blocks while Naveen Jindal-led JSPL has put in 13 bids for six blocks and Gautam Adani-promoted Adani Power for five mines. But the surprise element in the bids was that none of the foreign players bid for the 23 mines, which have an extractable reserves of 1,500 million tonne.
The Gare Palma IV/7 block in Chhattisgarh attracted the highest participation of 16 bids from firms like Balco, Hindalco, JSPL, Monnet Ispat, Sesa Sterlite and Sarda Energy and Mineral. Sajjan Jindal-promoted JSW Steel emerged as the lone bidder for the Parbatpur Central block in Jharkhand. These 23 functional mines are part of the 204 mines, the allotment of which were cancelled by the Supreme Court in September last year after holding their allocation as arbitrary and illegal.
Among other mines with sizeable reserves, the Amelia North block in Madhya Pradesh registered eleven bids, Bicharpur mine and Gare Palma IV/4 and Tokisud North mine won 12 bids each. Other blocks put on offer include Ardhagram, Belgaon, Chotia, Gare-Palma, Gotitoria (East) (West), Kathautia, Mandla North, Marki Mangli-I, Marki Mangli-III, Sial Ghoghri, Sarisatolli, Talabira-I, and Trans Damodar.
Only 50 per cent of the qualified bidders from technical stage (subject to a minimum of five bidders) will be allowed to participate in the e-auction process as announced by the coal ministry earlier. Blocks for iron and steel, cement and captive power plants would be auctioned through ‘ascending forward auction’, where qualified bidders would quote incremental bids above the pre-determined floor price. For sectors like steel, sponge iron, cement and captive power, a floor price of Rs 150 a tonne has been fixed for forward bidding.
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