Mandakini, Meral mines sold; States to get Rs 19,633 crore

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New Delhi: In fierce bidding that lasted over eight hours, Mandakini Exploration and Mining today bagged Mandakini block in Odisha while the Meral mine in Jharkhand went to Trimula Industries, in the process fetching an estimated Rs 19,633 crore for the States.

Mandakini block alone would contribute Rs 18,712 crore.

“Mandakini Exploration and Mining Ltd bids the highest,” tweeted Coal secretary Anil Swarup. As per a spokesperson of Monnet Ispat, Mandakini Exploration is a joint venture between Monnet and Jindal Photo. As per officials, the bid closed at Rs 650/tonne.

Bidding for Mandakini block, meant for the power sector and having one of the largest extractable reserves at 287.88 million tonne (MT), began at 11 am at Re 1 and continued till 7.35 pm with highest bid coming at Rs 650/tonne. The auction mode was reverse bidding for this mine.

Mandakini block was earlier alloted to Mandakini Coal Company Ltd – a JV led by Monnet Ispat & Energy and comprising Jindal Photo Lab and Tata Power Company.

The companies in race for Mandakini mine today included Adani Power, Adani Power Maharashtra, GMR Mining and Energy, Jindal Power and Wigeon Commotrade.

Earlier in the day, Trimula Industries Ltd bagged Meral mine for non-power sector in Jharkhand quoting Rs 727/tonne which in turn will fetch the government Rs 921 crore.

“Meral coal block closes at (Rs) 727 (per tonne),” Coal Secretary Anil Swarup tweeted.

Trimula bagged the mine by outbidding two companies — Easternrange Coal Mining Pvt Ltd and Usha Martin Ltd.

Meral mine, earlier alloted to Abhijeet Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, is in Palamau district of Jharkhand and has extractable reserves of 12.67 million tonnes.

The amount of proceeds has been calculated based on extractable reserves and highest bid price.

Both the mines were put on auction on the second day of the second tranche of bidding.

Adani Power, Usha Martin and JSW Steel bagged a total four mines in the second leg of auction that began yesterday.

Under the second leg of auction, the government has put at least 15 blocks, which are under ready-for-production category.

The auction proceeds from the first lot of 19 mines is over Rs one lakh crore. The auction follows the Supreme Court’s decision last year to cancel allocation of 204 coal mines.

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